Dr. Jeff J. Clawson, fire surgeon and medical director of the Salt Lake City and County fire departments and Gold Cross Ambulance Service, has been honored by the American Ambulance Association.

He was given a special award for making the most significant contributions during the past decade in the United States to national Emergency Medical Ambulance Service. He worked to develop the medical priority dispatch system, now used around the world.The program was first used in Salt Lake City and is now the national standard in the United States and Canada.

Clawson is the medical dispatch consultant for the city of Los Angeles, and he and his company, Medical Priority Consultants, are the medical consultants for the CBS Television program "Rescue 911."

In 1978 the physician created the medical priority dispatch system and training course for medical dispatchers at 911, fire departments and ambulance services. Through the program, callers are given phone advice and life-saving instructions before paramedics arrive.

Dispatchers are directed to ask only specific questions regarding the nature of the emergency and then to quickly send the correct units and emergency personnel to those needing help.