How to Stop a Stolen Ambulance

October 15, 2019 by Dana Rasmussen

How to Stop a Stolen Ambulance

It’s not every day that law enforcement officers go on a high-speed chase in pursuit of a stolen ambulance. However, when an ambulance was stolen in Macomb County, Michigan, it resulted in a multi-jurisdictional response.

When the first call for service came in regarding the ambulance theft, dispatchers immediately sent law enforcement officers in pursuit. The stolen ambulance was spotted multiple times, but the pursuit continued through several different jurisdictions throughout the county.

In some communities, when a call for service results in multi-jurisdictional involvement, it becomes difficult for real-time information about the call to be shared among the responding agencies. However, dispatchers with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office did not face this problem as they were able to continuously update responders as to the location of the vehicle through the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that the agency uses.

This capability became especially beneficial as the pursuit continued and involved three separate law enforcement agencies throughout the county, all of which were working together and on the same CAD system.

“When dispatchers have the ability to attach units from multiple departments to a CAD call for service, we can instantly share information on the current location of the suspect involved along with the location of all other officers involved without duplicating information,” communications administrator Angela Elsey said. “Without this capability, we'd have to create a call for service for each agency responding and type the updates in all agencies calls for them to see.”

With police and dispatchers working together and sharing information, the pursuit of the stolen ambulance eventually ended with the suspect being apprehended and the stolen vehicle returned.

“Dispatchers need to be able to send along the right information and send it quickly,” Elsey said. “When we can avoid any unnecessary confusion and eliminate steps because information is right where we need it, then we’re making situations easier for the first responders out in the field.”

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