Pre-Hospital Communication

Author: John David Ferris, Chris Gray / Editors: Tajek B Hassan / Reviewer: Stewart McMorran / Code: ORG / Published: 09/08/2021


This session will cover modalities used in pre-hospital communication.

Before commencing this session you should:

  • Be familiar with the phonetic alphabet and its use
  • Have some awareness of major incident management

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Describe some of the communication methods used pre-hospitally
  • Recognise potential limitations to communication in the pre-hospital environment
  • Understand how to communicate with the pre-hospital services effectively including the use of pre-alerts
  • Give or receive a structured handover


  1. Barnes R et al., Report of the 7 July Review Committee. Greater London Authority. 2006.
  2. Update on the implementation of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations. Greater London Authority. 2020.
  3. Corey AM. Introducing Communication. In: Pierce T, The Evolution of Human Communication: from Theory to Practice (2nd ed.) Ontario, Canada: EtrePress; 2019.
  4. NHS Health Careers. Call handler/emergency medical dispatcher. Available from [accessed 25th January 2021].
  5. Turner J and Jacques R. Ambulance Response Programme Review, report of ARP phase 2.3 implementation. NHS England. Gateway publication reference 08296, 2018.
  6. RAYNET-UK website. [accessed 25th January 2021].
  7. Cabinet Office. Resilient communications. [accessed 25th January 2021].
  8. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. NATO phonetic alphabet, codes and signals. [accessed 25th January 2021].
  9. International Civil Aviation Organization. Annex 10: Aeronautical Telecommunications Volume II: Communication Procedures including those with PANS status (7th ed.) 2016.
  10. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Major Trauma service delivery: NICE Guideline [NG40]. [Accessed 25th January 2021].
  11. Cabinet Office. Emergency responder interoperability: lexicon. [Accessed 25th January 2021].
  12. Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles. Early stages of an incident & M/ETHANE. [accessed 25th January 2021].
  13. Reid C, Brindley P et al., Zero point survey: a multidisciplinary idea to STEP UP resuscitation effectiveness. Clin Exp Emerg Med 2018;5(3):139-143.
  14. Reid C. The Zero Point Survey. (YouTube video) [Accessed 25th January 2021].
  15. Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee. JRCALC Clinical Guidelines. 2019.

Leave a Reply