Joint Advisory Committee on Communications Capabilities of Emergency Medical and Public Health Care Facilities [open pdf - 2MB]
"The Joint Advisory Committee on Communications Capabilities of Emergency Medical and Public Health Care Facilities (JAC) is recommending a systematic, coordinated, and comprehensive strategy to improve emergency communications throughout the ranks of first responders and public health facilities. The strategy encompasses all components in the chain of emergency response-spanning receipt of a 911 call, EMS dispatch, onsite communications, transport communications, hospital communications, interagency communications and coordination, treatment of victims, and identification of outbreaks. […] In recent years, large-scale emergencies have exposed communications failures in our EMS and health care systems. Disaster events not only have overwhelmed emergency response communications capacity, they have uncovered emergency medical and hospital communications systems that are antiquated and unable to harness the benefits of modern communications technologies. The communications technologies upon which life-saving decisions depend are often outdated, fragile, limited only to voice, and woefully inadequate to respond to a mass casualty or disaster event. Too often today, EMS responders, doctors, and nurses must practice 21st century medicine with 20th century communications technology. Modern broadband communications networks and applications present an enormous opportunity to radically improve the manner in which emergency information is shared by health officials. Broadband services enable bandwidth intensive information such as video, pictures, and graphics to be transmitted faster and in a more reliable and secure manner. When married with wireless technology, broadband enables the realtime, reliable transmission of bandwidth-intensive information in a mobile environment."