Idaho’s “best-kept secret” turns 40: StateComm story told in new videos

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The Idaho State EMS Communication Center, known as “StateComm” and co-located with the Idaho State Police dispatch in Meridian, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary as a vital link for emergency services, state transportation and public health response communications serving multiple partner agencies and rural ambulance services across the state.

Idaho StateComm 40th anniversary tribute videos: 

Happy Anniversary Idaho StateComm

Idaho StateComm: History

Idaho StateComm: “Bridging” the Gap

Idaho StateComm: Calm Voice in the Night

MERIDIAN __ On a Saturday afternoon in the fall of 1977, in a small room at Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Paul Anderson turned on a newly installed two-way radio system that communicated through a series of mountain-top microwave base stations scattered across all 83,000 square miles of Idaho. Continue reading

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A life-and-death call

Photo of Jennifer Brown and Shane Write, communications specialists.

Communications specialists Jennifer Brown and Shane Wright are shown in the dispatch center at the Idaho State EMS Communications Center.

Communication specialists Jennifer Brown and Shane Wright at the Idaho State EMS Communications Center were extremely busy one January morning as they managed the work associated with a major snow storm that snarled up traffic and made travel difficult around the state.

They were dispatching snowplows, deicers and sanding trucks statewide, as well as relaying reports of vehicle slide-offs and crashes to law enforcement. They also were getting ready to announce the closure of Idaho 21 in what’s commonly called “avalanche alley.”

But just then, an urgent call came in from the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office. It was an Emergency Medical Dispatch, which meant someone was having a medical emergency on the end of that call. State EMS communication specialists are trained to use predetermined medical protocols to dispatch correct resources to an emergency and to give medical instructions to victims and bystanders before first responders arrive and take over. Continue reading