Lake Emergency Medical Services received notification today from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) that its Communications Center has been awarded Re-Accreditation as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence. The letter from the IAED Board of Accreditation stated that the Board “voted unanimously to approve Lake Emergency Medical Services for this important recognition.”
Lake Emergency Medical Services is the 125th center in the world to be awarded this highest distinction for their comprehensive implementation and compliance with the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) and associated “20 Points of Excellence.”
Kimberly Stephens, Chief Communications Officer, stated, “Our Communications Center team, led by Communications Training Officer Tina Winkler, has worked continuously to maintain our accreditation which was first received in February 2009. It takes the entire team to live up to all of the international practice standards for Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) on a day-to-day basis. The EMD standards are high and our Communications Center is proud to be one of only 125 centers worldwide to meet them.”
The Medical Priority Dispatch System is the world’s most widely-used 911-type pre-arrival instruction and dispatch-life-support protocol system. With scripted telephone instructions for CPR, airway obstruction relief, hemorrhage control, and childbirth assistance, the MPDS has been credited with helping save thousands of lives. In addition to requiring proper system oversight, medical control and quality improvement programs, Re-Accreditation demands careful MPDS compliance and certification for all emergency call-takers and medical dispatchers.
According to the IAED, “Earning this Re-Accreditation award is voluntary and involves completing a detailed self-study and analysis. This accomplishment demonstrates to not only each individual within the communications center, but also to the administration, community, and the world, that Lake EMS is compliant with all international practice standards for Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD).”
In addition to providing EMD for all Lake County communities, the Lake EMS Communications Center is also responsible for dispatching fire calls for The Villages Public Safety Department, Lake County Fire Rescue and all municipal fire departments in the county. So, not resting on its accomplishment of attaining Re-Accreditation for medical dispatching, the Communications Center is in the process of obtaining Accreditation for Emergency Fire Dispatch as well. The process takes several months to complete, and the Communications Center is on track to meet its goal of receiving fire dispatch accreditation by the end of 2012. There are currently only 50 agencies nationwide that have achieved accreditation in both disciplines and Lake EMS anticipates joining that prestigious group this year.
Lake Emergency Medical Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2011 by Lake County to provide quality, community-based EMS services. The agency operates 19 Advanced Life Support units at peak operation, dynamically deployed throughout the county. Lake EMS is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors headed by Chairman Welton G. Cadwell. Jim Judge serves as Executive Director with administrative offices located at 2761 W. Old Highway 441 in Mount Dora, Florida.