LifeFlight named EMS Regional Communication Center

Vanderbilt LifeFlight‘s Office of Emergency Communications has been designated as the EMS Regional Communications Center (EMS RCC) for the Mid-Cumberland Region by Tennessee Department of Health EMS officials.

As part of the designation, Vanderbilt LifeFlight will become a disaster resource and the disaster point of contact for hospitals and emergency medical services in the region, which includes Davidson County, as well as multiple other counties in Middle Tennessee.

“The idea is that one call does it all in the event of a disaster that requires mobilization of the emergency medical community,” said Jeff Gray, communications manager for Vanderbilt LifeFlight Office of Emergency Communications. “The state wants the localities affected by a disaster to concentrate on managing the disaster. They can call the EMS RCC and request the resources that they need.”

LifeFlight joins seven other EMS RCCs in the state, which include West Tennessee (operated by Hospital Wings); Johnson City (operated by Wings Air Rescue); Knoxville (operated by UT LifeStar); Chattanooga (operated by Erlanger LifeForce); Upper Cumberland Region (operated by Putnam County EMS); South East Region (operated by Madison County EMS) and the South Central Region (operated by Maury County EMS).

Gray said having eight EMS RCCs across the state allowed for a coordinated response between the emergency medical community and receiving hospitals.

“We‘re able to communicate with each other and able to share what resources are available in each region including EMS units that can respond as well as the number and type of hospital beds available,” he said.

In many of the region‘s, air medical services are serving as EMS RCCs. Gray said that design has worked well, since those providers are use to working with multiple EMS agencies and hospitals.

On January 1, 2007, emergency communicators with LifeFlight will also take over as “Nashville MedCom,” a task currently performed by Nashville‘s 911 Emergency Communications Center.

With some 11 hospitals in Davidson County, and all of them sharing a unique radio frequency for ambulance services to radio in patient reports, Nashville MedCom acts as a “traffic controller” to help keep the radio channel open and clear.

Attending the dedication ceremony held at the Skyport at VUMC included Joe Phillips, director, Tennessee Dept. of Health, EMS Division; John Morris, M.D., medical director, Vanderbilt LifeFlight; Lenys Biga, assistant hospital director, Vanderbilt Medical Center; Jeanne Yeatman, director, Vanderbilt LifeFlight; Jeff Gray, communications manager, Vanderbilt Office of Emergency Communications; Judy Eads, Tennessee Dept. of Health, EMS Division; and Bill Sewell, Tennessee Dept. of Health, EMS Division.