EMS relies on various devices and technologies, the majority of which have been in service for many years. There are many new technologies being added to the list of the existing technologies. Although it is not probable that the EMS system will utilize all the available communication instruments and tools, it is crucial for the EMS medical director to have technical knowhow of the communication modes and devices available. When decisions concerning procedures or new communication equipment are to be made, a well-informed medical director can affect the decisions in a positive manner (Brennan & Krohmer, 2005, p. 107).
Over time, technological advancements have resulted in enhancements in the delivery of emergency medical services. Automatic crash notification (ACN) technology facilitates instant notification of emergency responders when a car crash has happened. Devices offer audible and instant warnings to ambulance if their driving is unsafe or reckless. There are systems under development, which will permit prehospital EMS personnel in the scene or the field to see the complete health record of the patient and possibly replace paper-based ambulance records with electronic data submission (National Research Council, 2007, p. 149).
Cell phone location technology is accessible but not used widely. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) issued guidelines necessitating wireless communications manufacturers and carriers to integrate location technology into their systems and products in two phases; the main objective was to assist E911 centers. In the first phase of the development, carriers are needed to offer a way for PSAPs (public safety answering points) to restrict a call from the cell phone to an area covered by a particular cell tower. This will permit the call to be automatically routed to the correct PSAP, and restrict ...