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Keystone Voluntary
Emergency Medical Services

What happens when I call 911?

Since 1990, residents of Keystone been able to call 911, and have their call transferred directly to Benton County (BC) Dispatch, in Vinton, to be dealt with by the most appropriate Services.

This is the cascade of events following your 911 call:

Step: What Happens:
1: 911 call is made
2: Call is routed to BC Dispatch
3: BC Dispatch decide which Services (EMS, Ambulance, Fire & Police) in which District to Call-out
4: BC Dispatch Call-out the District in question As well as the nearest Ambulance (Belle Plain, Blairstown, Dysart, Elberon or North Benton - depending on availability and location of incident)
5: Pagers go off in homes throughout the District
6: Keystone EMS "scramble" ... Getting dressed (if required - not all 911 calls come during the daytime!), leaving their family and work, and heading down to the Keystone Firestation, where the EMS rig is kept
7: When two EMS volunteers are present, the rig leaves the station
8: EMS call-in to BC Dispatch to say they're on their way & verify address for call
9: Make way to call location (not always the easiest thing to do, in a rural location!)
10: When arrive: Assess severity of situation & decide what equipment will be needed from the rig and whether or not it is safe to continue on call. Also decide whether or not Life Guard (air ambulance) may be required. If so, Call made to Dispatch, who puts Helicopter on stand-by and Calls local Fire Department, who are trained to "land" the helicopter
11: Assess patients & decide priorities for treatment

Patient assessment includes: vital signs; breathing; pulse; skin-color; pupillary response; blood pressure

12: Begin treatment on patients await arrival of ambulance
13: Hand patients over to the care of the ambulance, or Life Guard
14: Return to Fire station with Rig
15: Re-stock supplies to Rig
16: Complete paperwork for call & discuss how the call was handled
17: Return home
18: Continue with normal everyday life ... until the Pager goes off again!

As you can see - many things take place in a very short time. Volunteers need to be able to "scramble" at almost any second of the day - or night - to rush to the Firestation and go out on a Call.

The volunteers may already have had a gruelling day at work, or a trying day with the kids - and yet, they will still run, at a moments notice, to come to the aid of someone in their community.