Medic operates the busiest 9-1-1 response agency in North Carolina, with responsibilities that span 542 square miles and include the rapidly growing city of Charlotte. With two professional sporting venues, multiple college campuses, two major lakes, a busy international airport, several major business centers, two nuclear power plants and a population approaching a million, Mecklenburg County presents a diverse, challenging environment to serve.
Operated by the county until 1996, Medic is now governed by a medical control board comprised of physicians and administrators from two major hospital systems, as well as a board of commissioners comprised of members of county management, hospital administration and community leaders from across the county. The agency currently employs 425 paramedics, EMTs, EMDs, and front office and support staff.
New protocols and equipment are constantly being introduced to ensure the best practices and tools are available to patients. In 2009 alone, additions include: focused cardiac arrest scene management, with advanced training on specific roles to be executed by specific people on a cardiac arrest scene; dedicated BLS/ALS teams, designed to minimize the use of ALS teams on BLS-level calls; Code Cool protocol, using hypothermic therapy for cardiac arrest patients in the field; and use of intraosseous lines on all adult SCA patients. Protocols implemented in 2007 include: Omega protocol implementation study aimed at reducing strain on the 9-1-1 system with nonemergent calls; and a STEMI care protocol and 58 ambulances equipped with 12-lead ECGs. Also in 2007, Medic built a state-of-the-art Medical Education and Simulation Center to create a hands-on teaching environment. Employees receive 44 hours of training in the center each year, including time in the cadaver lab for hands-on training in IO administration and advanced airway management.
Medic is heavily involved in the community, investing in numerous education and awareness campaigns like The Lucky Hearts Campaign, the primary objective of which is to educate the community on the need for widespread AED deployment and awareness. Since July 2006, Medic publicly recognizes bystanders who perform heroic acts that impact the health and well-being of a member of the community. Medic is also an active participant in Charlotte's Advanced Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT), and invests heavily in technology-based tools designed to improve patient care reporting, communication and data mining for performance tracking and analysis.
It goes without saying that Medic is an organization people are proud to be part of. "People here work really hard at improving patient care every day," says Director of Public Relations Jeff Keith, "and to have someone else recognize our efforts and tell us 'You're among the best in the country,' will generate tremendous pride. This is fantastic."
"It's recognition that is due," adds Executive Director Joe Penner. "The people who work here are smart and caring, and they stay engaged for good reasons. I've seen and worked in many EMS systems around the country, and it's pleasing to see these people get the recognition they deserve." To learn more about Medic, visit www.medic911.com.