911 and EMS data for detection of drinking water contamination


The Public Health Surveillance (PHS) component (one of five monitoring and surveillance components deployed in the Cincinnati drinking water contamination warning system) functions to detect public health incidents resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals that produce a rapid onset of symptoms. Within the PHS component, four data streams were monitored: 911 calls, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) logs, Local Poison Control Center call data, as well as Emergency Department data (via EpiCenter). The focus of this paper centers on the 911 and EMS surveillance tools. The 911 data is dependent on information provided by the caller and the information entered by the dispatcher. EMS data, on the other hand, is recorded by a medical professional, and although not provided as rapidly as 911 data, provides more detailed information. The data included in 911 and EMS alerts, when utilized together, can provide timely and beneficial information during investigation of a possible drinking water contamination incident.



This paper describes the design, application and use of 911 and EMS data in a drinking water contamination warning system.

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2010

June 07, 2019

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