Consolidated dispatch gains accreditation

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) -- The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch has formally awarded Accreditation to the Charleston County Consolidated 911 Center as an Emergency Fire and Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence.

The dispatch center will be recognized by the Charleston County Council during a meeting Tuesday night, where members of the IAED will be on hand to deliver a pair of plaques to the center's director, Jim Lake.

"We are extremely proud of the Consolidated 9-1-1 Center for reaching this significant milestone, which has been envisioned since the establishment of the agreement for consolidating our emergency 9-1-1 and dispatch services," said North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt, chair of the Consolidated Dispatch Board.

"This international system used by Charleston County provides instructions to callers prior to the arrival of fire and medical responders," said Jim Lake, Director, Charleston County Consolidated 911 Center. "With scripted telephone instructions on how to stay safe if trapped in a burning building, CPR and childbirth assistance, this system has been credited with helping save thousands of lives around the world."

The Charleston County Consolidated 911 Center processes an average of 600 911 calls and 250 fire and medical incidents per day, according to a statement from the county.

"In 2012, Charleston County Call Takers were credited with assisting in the delivery of three babies and CPR instructions resulting in six cardiac arrest patients arriving at the hospital alive," Lake said. In addition to requiring proper system oversight, fire and medical administration control and quality improvement programs, Accreditation demands careful compliance to the fire and medical protocols and certification for all emergency Call-takers, Fire Dispatchers and Medical Dispatchers.

"Earning the Accreditation award is voluntary and involves completing a detailed self-study and analysis," Lake said. "This accomplishment demonstrates to not only each staff member within the communications center, but also to the administration, community and the world that Charleston County Consolidated 9-1-1 Center is compliant with all international practice standards for Emergency Fire and Medical Dispatch."