|Author(s)||Claire Penn, Jennifer Watermeyer, Rhona Nattrass|
|Title||Managing language mismatches in emergency calls|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, South Africa, Training, Emergency Calls, communication variables, emergency medical services, opening sequence|
|Journal||Journal of Health Psychology|
The complex linguistic profile of South Africa has the potential to limit the efficiency of emergency calls. Emergency services depend on rapid resolution of a call, dispatch of an ambulance and response at scene. Resolving language mismatches is a critical feature of everyday practice in such a setting. This study examined accommodation to language shifts in a call centre using conversation analysis methods. Three main call trajectories were identified and the analysis suggested marked differences in responsivity, reflecting attitudinal and societal stratification. Conversation analysis provided insight into communication barriers and contextual features, which have implications for training.