Erlanger and state officials, as well as emergency response representatives, formally connected the present with the future as they showcased the latest technology in providing faster, more convenient and the most comprehensive medical coverage in our area.
Erlanger Regional Operations Center (EROC) houses LIFE FORCE flight operations, the Tennessee Regional EMS Medical Communications Center, Erlanger’s transfer and patient placement center, and Erlanger’s ambulance transport provider, Puckett EMS. It also includes other vital functions that enhance EMS pre-hospital medical control and transport, patient throughput and the region’s Disaster Medicine Operations.
“We are extremely proud to open this new center which provides state-of-the-art communications for all pre-hospital emergency transportation including air traffic control of air ambulances and Hamilton County EMS medical control,” said Erlanger President and CEO, Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE. “The center is also directly linked to bed placement throughout the healthcare system to enhance the smooth operation of patient placement and patient throughput,” he added.
The Erlanger-Chattanooga MedComm is a designated Regional Medical Communication Center by the State of Tennessee Office of Emergency Medical Services. The center coordinates all communication within Region 3 (Southeast Tennessee) and in cooperation with adjoining regions. Receiving approximately 37,000 calls per year for emergency services, staff members at the center coordinate pre-hospital communications between EMS and healthcare providers, serve as the pre-hospital EMS coordination point for Mass Casualty Incident Transport Officers, communicate between Tennessee and Georgia EMS and public health officials during incidents that could impact healthcare in our region and provide support for EMS services entering the area from other regions or states.
Since 1988, LIFE FORCE has provided air medical services in the region for Erlanger Health System. The program operates four helicopters and services four states. Accredited by the commission for medical transport since 2011, LIFE FORCE is nationally ranked as one of the highest performing air medical services in the country. LIFE FORCE receives approximately 5,000 calls a year requesting medical air transport service. Depending on weather, medical care and other flight conditions, LIFE FORCE operates approximately 2,000 flights each year. It is the only air ambulance program in our region that carries ultrasound, blood and plasma and is credentialed by physicians at Erlanger to perform emergency surgical procedures. All LIFE FORCE flight nurses and paramedics have board certification in critical care transport. LIFE FORCE is one of only 5% of the programs in the country that has achieved this standard.