Here at OnStar, we take our customers’ safety very seriously, and we are extremely excited to be the first non-emergency service, private company to receive Accreditation as an Emergency Medical Center of Excellence.
Since April 2010, we’ve provided a service called First Assist , which allows specially trained OnStar emergency advisors to use Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) in order to provide necessary medical guidance to people in need while they wait for first responders to arrive.
In order to become a certified emergency advisor, one must complete six months as a non-emergency advisor handling non-emergency calls, four weeks of OnStar emergency training and a one week of training through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) that includes CPR and EMD certifications and software instruction by the IAED™.
OnStar obtained Accreditation by meeting the IAED’s™ rigorous 20 points of Accreditation requirements and for the company’s compliance with the Medical Priority Dispatch System ™ (MPDS®).
Being accredited proactively tells our customers that not only are we delivering a lifesaving service, but we are committed to doing so at the highest standard of excellence. Of the 2,780 agencies that use the MPDS® protocol, only 4.25 percent have actually achieved accreditation.
No other OEM in the world is delivering this kind of on-scene, emergency medical dispatch. In many cases, before the car has come to a complete stop during a crash, we’re connected and giving assistance. We’re filling a void for customers that no other automaker has even attempted to do. . We recognize how busy 911 call centers are, and in the spirit of cooperation, if we can absorb some of their burden and offer this service, then everyone benefits. We are filling an emergency response gap too where we can provide a first level of help that can prove to be invaluable
OnStar’s First Assist service is used approximately 1,200 times every month for a variety of emergency situations—from assisting women in labor, people with diabetic emergencies, and helping with choking victims..
All in all, the most important part is that we’re making a difference. Originally advisors had to stay on the line and just say “wait until you hear the sirens”. Now we are able to provide lifesaving instruction to these people in need. I take comfort in knowing that we are doing all that we possibly can to help people in their most desperate moments.
Cathy Bishop is OnStar’s Global Emergency Outreach and Strategy Manager. She is responsible for leading a team charged with strengthening OnStar’s relationship with the emergency services community globally through educational, collaborative and partnership opportunities. She also collaborates with GM Safety and Public Policy to influence improvements in crash safety technology to improve emergency response and treatment for crash survivors. Prior to working at OnStar, Cathy managed a 9-1-1 Call Center in Michigan for 18 years.