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How Our Emergency Communications Center Handles Entrapments

How does an emergency communications center actually handle an elevator entrapment? This blog post walks you through an actual recording of an elevator entrapment that occurred and the procedure that Kings III goes through to take care of it.

In this month’s highlight video from our Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC), we look at one of the more routine emergency communications calls that we receive, an elevator entrapment. While there is no definitive statistic on the number of elevator entrapments in the United States each year, as the video above states, there are around 900,000 elevators in the United States, with each serving an average of 20,000 people a year. Given this high-volume number, entrapments are a far more likely occurrence than anyone generally suspects or would like them to be. When you think of an elevator entrapment call, you might not even consider it an emergency communications call, but believe it or not, people generally hate getting stuck on elevators. How your property handles the unwanted and unexpected situation when it arises makes a huge impact on the people frequenting your building. As we walk through this video, you’ll see exactly how we handle this type of emergency communications call.

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When a Kings III emergency communications dispatcher answers the phone, they immediately gather all necessary information that they need to take the appropriate measures towards getting the entrapped person(s) help as quickly as possible. As seen later on in the video, we will already have some of the pertinent information, such as what building the elevator is in, which elevator cab is stuck and the city and state that they are in, as all this information is gathered during the Kings III setup and installation process. The important questions to ask are situational ones: whether immediate medical attention is required, the amount of passengers in the cab, whether the lights in the elevator are working, etc. This allows the dispatcher to provide any immediate help based on the information that they have heard as well as get the necessary details to the appropriate parties listed on our call list and the building manager.

As heard in the video, the woman stated that she didn’t need any immediate medical attention but would soon if she didn’t get out. While she may not have been entirely serious in this situation, it is not uncommon for elevator entrapments to cause panic attacks among cab passengers, turning the situation into something you might more typically think of in an emergency communications calls. This is where the Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatcher (AEMD) and Red Cross CPR certifications held by all of our dispatchers are extremely important. As most emergency communications centers will do, they will immediately dispatch EMS the appropriate direction, but in addition to that, they are able to walk passengers in distress through the process that they are dealing with and coach them in taking steps to alleviate the situation until help arrives. This can prove invaluable in the event of an emergency.

The next step we hear our emergency communications dispatcher take on the phone with the entrapped passenger is to let her know that she will be alerting the appropriate individuals in order to send help her way, at which point the passenger states that she doesn’t want to get off the phone, as she has no way of notifying anyone else that she is stuck. Our emergency communications dispatcher offers to call someone she knows to notify them that she is trapped , something that takes place often within our emergency communications center. In the case of our particular entrapped passenger in the video, it proves to be particularly useful, as she is able to let the receptionist at her building know that she will be late for a meeting.

The most important aspect that we would like you to take away from this video, however, occurs after all these necessary steps take place. At Kings III, we take great pride in the level of service our emergency operators provide and the special care and personal detail they apply to each call they receive. As you see in this video, the dispatcher does not treat this call as a transaction that is completed once all appropriate measures are taken. She stays on the line with the passenger, engaging in friendly conversation and making sure the passenger feels at ease. It is the moments like these that allow occupants to feel better about a situation that is, at best, an unpleasant interruption to their day. To learn more, visit www.kingsiii.com.

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