Frequently Asked Questions

From the EPDS Protocols

The National Academy strives to be the standard bearer for correct and efficient dispatching using the Emergency Priority Dispatch System protocols. As such the Academy welcomes questions on the correct use of the protocol, legal and quality improvement issues, and application. Often the questions are as simple as "which card do I go to when..." or "is ____ the correct determinant". If you find yourself asking questions about the proper use of the EPDS protocols please feel free to contact the Academy.


The following is a list of protocol use questions that have been directed to the Academy.


Translation of the protocol "on-the-fly"


Question: One of my clients had a question come up about calltakers who are certified thru their county as interpreters in Spanish, are they able to translate the Protocols from English to Spanish without having the Spanish Protocol set available to them? What is the Academy's position on that if you know of any other agencies that have bi-lingual calltakers?

Answer: The Academies' current position is that they should have and use the current language/dialect protocol rather than translate English "on the fly". This will avoid predictable variations in the meaning and intent of the protocol quesitons and instructions. If there is not an available current version in the desired language, then, obviously, direct on-line translation of the protocol is necessary.

In my own opinion, such cases should routinely undergo a higher level of quality assurance review as deviation from exact meaning and intent of the protocol is almost certain. As you know version 11.1 of the protocol is available in 11 different languages and dialects and the number is expanding. ProQA allows instant toggling between any languages installed at any place within the protocol process except the actual moment of "send".

The U.S. Spanish version has been available for some time and should be used in the place you have referred to. Should a problem arise with an "on the fly" interpretation and an legal issue occur, the NAED nor PDC would not be able stand behind the agency legally. The fact that an approved language version existed and wasn't used would actually be an discoverable coffin-nail in that sort of case. Need I say more... - Dr. Jeff Clawson