GREAT FALLS — In 2022, Great Falls Emergency Services responded to a record of over 10,000 calls. As we enter the third month of 2023, they have already responded to more than 1,000 calls, averaging 25-30 calls a day.
Behind those calls, is a mobile data terminal that GFES staff monitors throughout the day. The data consists of various types of calls that first responding agencies receive throughout Cascade County.
GFES General Manager Justin Grohs said, "It provides real time information from the dispatch center, which is the Cascade County City Dispatch Center up by the airport. They dispatch us out over the radio. We can't say enough about the dispatchers over there. They send us out on these calls, they keep track of us, they're the true first responders in our system."
Information that gets sent to the first responders include the location as well as the acuity of the emergency.
The information that is released goes to other responding agencies such as Great Falls Fire Rescue and the Great Falls Police Department.
GFES EMT Orion Alley said they tend to respond to Med 1 and Med 3 calls. Med 1 is classified as a non-life threatening emergency, in which a non-emergent ambulance arrives. Med 3 will have an emergency vehicle arrive on scene as well as a potential response from the fire department.
GFES divides the City of Great Falls into four districts. Alley said most of their responses are within downtown Great Falls, which is District 1.
On the road, GFES also has their own monitoring system that keeps track of the calls, and what other entities are responding to.
Alley said, "It's the same thing we see at the station. It has all of the same information of where we are going, the level of calls, and who's available."
While GFES is responding to an increasing amount of calls every year, they are able to maintain strong teamwork while working collaboratively with other first responding agencies throughout Cascade County.
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