WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, which handles more calls than many county 911 centers, has received a three-year renewal of its central monitoring certification and become a full member of a national professional organization.
The renewal process is done by Wake Forest Baptist’s insurance company, Factory Mutual Global. It includes an inspection of the fire alarm system, the dispatch center, and equipment.
“This certification allows us to monitor our own fire alarms throughout our buildings so we don’t have to use an outside service,” said Chris Scott, ECC manager. This also includes off campus properties like Comp Rehab and Miller Plaza. The inspection took place in December and Scott was notified in early January of the renewal.
The ECC handles three types of calls: code calls within the medical center, i.e. fire, accident, and disaster; security calls; and transport calls for the air ambulance and critical care ambulances. The center handled 1.4 million calls last year – more than any two or three combined 911 centers in the state, and ECC Assistant Manager Sharon Pressley predicts they will surpass that number this year.
The center has 14 communication specialists, all of whom are trained emergency medical technicians – a basic job requirement. They all serve as members of the Code 44 Team which responds to emergencies that occur within the medical center.
The entire ECC department is now a member of the National Association of Airmedical Communication Specialists (NAACS), Scott said, whereas in the past, the communicators held their own individual memberships. Pressley said this membership is going to give the department an overall benefit when it comes to training and education by being able to provide more offerings.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.