The inspiration for Dr. Andrea Furgani’s research stemmed from a question asked by one of the authors of the study. As she finished her shift, EMD Giuseppina Contiero asked, “Have you ever wondered if we make more mistakes in evaluating emergency calls when we work for longer hours? Because in my opinion …” Contiero is an EMD at 118 Genova Soccorso, Emergency Medical Service, Genova, Liguria, Italy.
Starting with that question, they planned and developed a study to assess whether the number of consecutive hours worked by the EMDs have an impact on their performance in terms of case evaluations and on the type of dispatch of emergency vehicles (i.e., advanced life support [ALS] vs. basic life support [BLS]) and methods/mode (i.e., with/ without lights-and-siren [L&S]). The study involved all the telecommunication centers in the region (Liguria). The result was a manuscript published in the Annals of Emergency Dispatch and Response (AEDR) and the winning research poster at NAVIGATOR 2021. The study’s results strayed from pre-research expectations, but that only puts an extra charge on Dr. Furgani’s interest in conducting further studies. “Isn’t the beauty of research finding what you don’t expect?” he asked.
As far as emergency dispatch, he said the Biomedical Informatics and Research team at the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) is the ideal partner in scientific discovery. “Research in our field is taking its first steps, so it needs our effort, our inquiry, and our curiosity, because when you ask yourself questions you are already doing research,” he said in his acceptance speech recorded in Italy and played at NAVIGATOR. “To all of you, a heartfelt greeting from Italy. I hope to see you soon and thanks again for the award.”