When sending messages to eDispatches, the following guidelines are recommended:
- Send plain text emails whenever possible. While the system is capable of handling Rich Text, HTML, JSON, and even attachments such .docx or .pdf, these “advanced” formats can result in unreliable results for your responders due to the extreme complexity of those types.
- It is NOT necessary to limit the length of messages that you send to the eDispatches system. In fact, it is preferable that you send us as much information as possible, so we can process it and deliver it to your responders. You are not limited in length, like you might be for text messages!
- Emails should adhere to one of two formats:
- When using a field delimiter, such as a semi-colon (preferred), you must choose a unique character that cannot appear within the data itself.
- We strongly recommend against “comma” as your delimiter, due to the likelihood that it will occur in the data
- The “Pipe” character cannot be used as a delimiter
- Key-Value Pairs (preferred)
- Field delimiters (such as semi-colon separated)
Key-Value Pair Example
NATURE: Chest Pains
LOC: 123 Main St
X-ST: Pine St / Oak Ln
NOTES: 73yo M, chest pains, shortness of breath. History of HTN and CVA x2.
Field Delimiter Example
Structure Fire; 123 Main St; ; Pine St / Oak Ln; Anytown; 73yo Male, chest pains, shortness of breath. History of HTN and CVA x2.
Important Note: Notice that in both examples, no “Apartment” is given. In the Field Delimiter example, notice that there is a “Blank” entry where the apartment would be, if it was present. It is very important that blank “Placeholders” be used when a field is empty, so that the system knows to skip that piece of data. In the case of a Field Delimiter messages, we rely on a strict message format to know where each piece of data belongs.
The following is a list of data fields that the eDispatches system “natively” handles for CAD messages. In the event that a CAD system sends a particular piece of data that is not natively handled by our system, that piece of data will be grouped into the “Narrative” section of the alert, along with the actual Narrative data (ie dispatcher comments, etc.).
- Subject: “Subject:” line of the email header
- Incident Number: Unique numbers/strings used by a specific agency (ie, fire department) to identify a particular emergency incident. Possible to have more than one.
- Call ID: Similar to an Incident Number, but is usually specific to the CAD system itself.
- Station Assignment: To include station and/or unit assignments.
- Narrative: Notes / comments from the dispatcher. Will also include any data fields present in the CAD message that are not specifically captured by fields listed elsewhere in this list.
- Call Time: This is the “time of dispatch”, if it is contained in the email message.
- Message Time: The time the message was received by our mail server.
Primary Incident Details
- Emergency Nature: A short (a few words) description of the primary reason for the emergency dispatch
- Description: A slightly longer (1 - 2 sentence) description of the incident details
- Service Call Type: Indicator for which emergency service is being requested, Fire, EMS, Rescue, Law, etc.
- Chief Complaint: For EMS dispatches, the patient’s Chief Complaint
Secondary Incident Details
Some CAD systems are known to include additional supporting data in regard to the incident details. We specifically track the following secondary fields, if they are present in the CAD message:
- Response Level Code
- Contact Address
- Contact Phone
Primary Location Details
- Street Address: A “standard” street_address, for example 123 Main St.
- Intersection: Intersection is used instead of street_address when the location of the incident is given as the intersection of 2 streets. Note that this is NOT the same as the “Cross Streets” field. In most instances the distinction between Intersection vs Street Address is automatically determined by the eDispatches system.
- Common Name: The well-known name of a place of public (or private) gathering.
- City: City name will be stored here. If city name is not contained in the CAD message, the “default” city name which is provided by the customer, will be substituted automatically.
- State: State name will be stored here. If state name is not contained in the CAD message, the “default” state name which is provided by the customer, will be substituted automatically.
- Apt/Unit #
- Cross Streets: Cross Streets are the names of roads that intersect the “primary” road closest to the actual incident location. Note that this is NOT the same as the “Intersection” field.
- Venue: If present, “Venue” or “Jurisdiction” information will be stored here.
Secondary Location Details
Some CAD systems are known to include additional supporting data in regard to the incident location. We specifically track the following secondary fields, if they are present in the CAD message:
- Map Book Page