Emergency responders can help connect donors to those in need

October 4, 2022
By Michele Carreras, Idaho State EMS Communications Center manager

Tissue donors save and change lives, but it only works if donors are matched with people in need. Since 2013, the team at the Idaho State EMS Communications Center has been helping make that connection.

Many tissue donors are connected to patients through hospital systems, but when a person passes away outside a hospital, police and other first responders can become their gateway into the donor system. If you’re an emergency responder or know someone who is, you can coordinate through StateComm at 800-632-8000.

Based in Meridian, StateComm is a component of the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness in the Division of Public Health. It routes emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week—making it a logical point of contact for first responders reporting pre-hospital deaths.

When emergency responders reach out about a recently-deceased person, StateComm sends the name, date of birth, and location of the deceased to a referral center, which searches for matches.

This volunteer process is working. One of our partners at a tissue procurement center in Boise recently reported that StateComm is outperforming some of Idaho’s rural hospitals. This is a point of pride for emergency responders and dispatchers who are imperative to making these crucial connections happen.

Moreover, the process and feedback they often receive when there is a match can help emergency responders heal from calls they responded to.

Once again, if you or someone you know would like to participate, please coordinate through StateComm at 800-632-8000.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.