ISO provides major validation to fire dispatch protocols, certification, education

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Kris Berg
(800) 363-9127 ext. 116

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah— A major validation of protocol efficacy came from the Insurance Standards Organization (ISO) through its national program rating community fire suppression delivery systems. ISO recognizes more than 47,500 fire protection areas.

The ISO Public Protection Classification (PPC) program added points for use of emergency fire dispatch protocols, and requiring certification, continuing dispatch education, and a quality assurance program. The PPC document shifts quality assurance from a hardware-based evaluation to performance standards, similar to the system developed by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED). Dispatch accounts for 10% of the final PPC score.

“ISO took a big step in reinforcing all the tools we’ve supported all along,” PDC Fire Consultant Jay Dornseif said. “This is a great benchmark for fire departments measuring the effectiveness of their efforts and when making plans for improvement.”

The PPC program update, slated for a July 1, 2013, implementation date, comes at the same time that Priority Dispatch Corp. announced the release of Version 6 of the Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS®), a comprehensive upgrade of the 9-1-1 fire calltaking and dispatch protocol, featuring new Chief Complaints, new Post-Dispatch Instructions (PDIs), new Key Questions, and other enhancements to help reduce fire risk and loss and heighten responder safety.

“FPDS Version 6 is a great update, very relevant to our users,” said Gary Galasso, PDC fire/medical consultant and retired deputy chief for the San Jose (Calif.) Fire Department. “The new version makes for more efficient, effective, and applicable response and much of it is based on client recommendations.”

Sept. 30 is the anticipated date of release.

The most noticeable improvements include new Chief Complaints for Motor Vehicle Collision, Suspicious Package (Letter, Item), and Bomb Threat, bringing the total number of FPDS Protocols to 26 (numbered from Protocol 51 through 77).

The Water Rescue PDI was broadened to include flooding and its potential impact for fire services, such as structural fire and collapse, and dangerous transportation-related conditions trapping passengers within their vehicles.

Other improvements include:

  • Caller danger not trapped instructions at Case Entry to provide caller with safety precautions once outside a structure fire
  • Suffix codes to specify the type of problem occurring at a fuel spill, including whether the incident occurred inside or outside, and patient condition
  • Instructions for distancing caller from tanks, respective of size, in the event of a gas leak or gas odor
  • Explicit precautions for the caller to take when chemical suicide is suspected

 FPDS v6 is available on both the Paramount ProQA® platform and card set. Several functions new to ProQA are designed to group answers to questions based on general meaning to streamline the calltaking and dispatch process.

Since FPDS version 1.0 was released in July 2000, more than 400 agencies have incorporated the protocol into their current standard of dispatch care and practice. The IAED is responsible for updating and maintaining the fire, law enforcement, and medical services protocol dispatch systems.

For more information, visit or call (800) 363-9127.