Prerequisites: EMD experience or certification is recommended

APCO Institute’s EMD Illuminations program is and annual subscription-based service that allows you to obtain topic-specific, at-your-desk continuing education.

EMD Illuminations includes monthly topics of particular interest to emergency medical dispatchers, although the track is open to anyone. Subscribers earn one CDE for each.

2022 Topics Include:

October: EMS Personnel Can Be Targets Too
EMS personnel have been victims of personal attack, rescue units have been disabled or stolen, and personnel and equipment have been targets during civil unrest. Examples of recent events involving injury and death to EMS workers are examined during this session.
November: They are not “silly” questions
An EMD who does not understand the how’s and whys of the EMD guide cards may find the questions to be “silly”, which enhances the caller’s frustration with answering essential vital points questions. The EMD’s understanding and perception of the program significantly impact the overall success of the EMD program.
December: High-Risk Pregnancy
The age of the mother, a history of a complicated pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and having a child with a congenital disability are common signs of a high-risk pregnancy. Medical conditions and physical symptoms that may complicate the pregnancy and delivery are considered.

2023 Topics Include:

January: Poisoning
According to U.S. Poison Control Centers, in 2020, over 2.1 million people were exposed to poisons. Data includes 6.4 exposures per 1000 population, nearly 38% involving children under age six. The types of poisonings discussed include environmental, food poisoning, occupational, therapeutic error, bite/sting, and product misuse. Intentional and unintentional exposure are examined, in addition to the common poisonous substances such as pesticides, plants, cleaning products, carbon monoxide, and medications.
February: Signs and Symptoms of a Diabetic Emergency
Out of the norm symptoms and signs of a possible diabetic emergency.

According to the CDC 37.3 million Americans, about 1 in 10, have diabetes. One size does not fit all when dealing with a diabetic emergency. Is your patient a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic? Hyperglycemic or Hypoglycemic? Or suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis? Understanding the signs could be the difference in identifying a diabetic emergency from an intoxicated person or a person with dementia.

March: Severe Eye Injuries
Eye injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe with a threat to vision or life-threatening complications. Various severe eye injuries are discussed, including scratches, eye inflammation, foreign object, penetrating object, chemical burn, and eye hemorrhages.
April: The Chain of Survival for Witnessed Cardiac Arrest
The key elements at the best chance of survival.
There are four links in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) chain of survival in witnessed cardiac arrest to be reviewed. The first link which is Early Access details the essential role of the dispatcher in the initial gathering of information, dispatching of units, and providing medical instructions to the caller. This AHA Focus Group Doc is a life-saving tool to be added to the dispatcher’s toolbox.
May: Pelvic Trauma
The pelvis is the location that allows large muscles of the lower body to connect, enabling the ability to walk, run, kneel, or sit. The pelvic region also supports and protects the reproductive organs, bladder, and rectum. Anatomy of the pelvic area, and common causes of pelvic trauma are discussed.
June: Can’t Touch This! Thermal, Radiation, Chemical, and Electrical Burns
Burn risks are all around us in a variety of settings in our everyday lives. This session will provide an understanding of the different types of burns and burn classifications which will aid in the treatment of the specific type of injury.
July: Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that is easily spread and affects adults, children, and infants. This session examines common signs and symptoms and means of transmission.
August: Pick A Card!
Where do you start when the signs and symptoms of the medical complaint are vague or not clear in the initial interrogation of the EMD call? Following agency EMD policy for the chief complaint of “general” or “sick/unknown” may be your best choice to START the process. Just because you start on one card, you may have to change cards quickly as the medical emergency progresses. Using the APCO EMD Sick/Unknown card as an example, we will look at this process.
September: Fentanyl
Fifty times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, two milligrams of Fentanyl can be deadly. This session examines Fentanyl abuse and overdoses, including illegally manufactured powders, patches, pills, and candy-look-alike “Rainbow Fentanyl”.
October: TTY/TDD
How do you EMD with TTY?

In the deaf and hard of hearing community, they may be calling 9-1-1 as a last resort. This means the emergency is at it’s heightened state when contact is made with the Communications Center. Understanding how to gather accurate information quickly by using best practices for TTY medical is a tool no dispatcher should be without.

November: Active Shooter: EMD & EMS Partnership
Frantic victims often call 9-1-1 seeking medical attention during or immediately following an active shooter incident. The EMS system can quickly become overburdened, and response prioritization becomes essential. Common types of injuries are discussed, along with information-gathering requirements for scene safety.
December: Electronics Are Keeping Us Alive
The Tin man in the Wizard of Oz went searching for a heart. If the City of Oz had a medical facility, he may have been a candidate to receive an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), a Left ventricular assist device (LVAD), or a pacemaker. All are a form of electronic devices designed to keep patients alive. How will you answer a call when the caller states my heart device is low on battery? Or the person not breathing has a pacemaker, do you use an AED? A review of these devices and how they work will assist you in answering this type of medical call.

COST: Annual Subscription (per student):
(No refunds, transfers, or substitutions allowed for this program)

Options Price
Non-Member $119
APCO Member $109
Group of 26-50 registrants $99 per person
Group of 51 and up registrants $89 per person

APCO Institute is committed to bringing you affordable, quality training and education. Please take the opportunity to try out this new learning medium and invite a co-worker or two to join you!