NAEDThe Lake Emergency Medical Services Communications Center has earned Accreditation as an Emergency Fire Dispatch Center of Excellence. Lake EMS is only the 23rd Emergency Fire Dispatch center to be awarded this highest distinction by the National/International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

The accreditation required a year-long effort of all Communications Center staff with the resulting designation benefitting the entire County. In addition to requiring proper system oversight, fire administration control and quality improvement programs, Accreditation demands careful Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS) compliance and certification of all emergency call-takers and fire dispatchers.

Kimberly Stephens, Chief Communications Officer, explains, “Accreditation as an Emergency Fire Dispatch Center involved an incredible amount of hard work by all Communications Center staff, led by Tina Winkler, our Quality Assurance and Training Officer. We are so proud to have attained this highest level of distinction for our emergency fire dispatching on behalf of 12 city fire departments as well as Lake County Fire Rescue.”

There are approximately 3,500 911 centers worldwide that currently use the internationally recognized Priority Dispatch System for police, ambulance and fire. Of those, only 23 are nationally accredited as a Center of Excellence for Fire Dispatch. Additionally, only 15 centers are nationally accredited as a “multi-disciplined” Center of Excellence. Lake EMS is one of those 15 centers who have earned dual accreditation for medical and fire dispatching.

Ms. Stephens further explained that earning medical and fire dispatch accreditation is voluntary. She notes, “We chose to seek this accreditation as a way to demonstrate to our community that Lake EMS meets the highest standards for Emergency Fire Dispatch. We welcomed the detailed self-study and analysis which was part of the accreditation process and we are proud to have reached this second pinnacle of excellence.”

The designation as the 23rd Emergency Fire Dispatch Accredited Center became official on 12 October 2012; the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch will recognize Lake EMS at its Navigator conference.