Nine times out of ten, chances are an OnStar advisor is giving out driving instructions to turned around drivers. Then there’s that one call that is a serious emergency, one that requires first responders to arrive on the scene to provide medical attention. And sometimes, it takes them a little while to get there.
So it’s good to know that OnStar’s First Assist, which allows specially trained OnStar emergency advisors, is certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) services to drivers and passengers waiting for first responders to show. It’s also the first non-emergency service, private company to be recognized by IAED as a Medical Accredited Center of Excellence.
OnStar met the association’s 20 Points of Accreditation requirements and was cited for its high level of compliance with the Medical Priority Dispatch System, which is a medically approved standardized protocol that determines the urgency of a medical emergency and guides advisors to provide medical instructions in many incidents before first responders arrive. This could be anything from a child birth, to a snake bite, to instructing a child how to perform CPR — all through their GM vehicle.
To paint a clearer picture of how meaningful the IAED certification is, here’s a statistic: of the 2,780 agencies that use dispatch system’s protocol – most of which are 911 call centers – only 4.25 percent have achieved accreditation like OnStar.
“EMD [Advisors] use protocols, they’re trained to use protocols, they live in a time-restrictive environment and you have to do it right the first time,” said Dr. Jeff Clawson, inventor of MPDS. “The idea of what OnStar is doing is something I would consider a no-brainer. The first person that has access to the patient can make a big difference.”
Through the 17 years of OnStar’s existence, its advisors have responded to nearly 2 million emergency calls. And OnStar advisors who seek to be emergency advisors are extensively trained, with weeks of internal OnStar Emergency courses, CPR certification, IAED certification, along with having exemplary OnStar track record as an employee.