911 service throughout San Bernardino County is getting a major enhancement with a new, more efficient process for handling incoming calls to determine the appropriate level of service. The San Bernardino County Council of Governments (SBCOG) has approved a contract with Mission Critical Partners to implement an Emergency Communication Nurse System™(ECNS) Plan within the existing 911 network throughout the county.
ECNS has evolved through an Ad Hoc Committee which includes stakeholders representing all levels of the emergency response system, from the initial 911 call to the Emergency Room. The Ad Hoc Committee includes:
The goal of this Ad Hoc Committee is to address Emergency Room overcrowding and the “domino effect” of having ambulances waiting to transfer patient care to Emergency Room staff, otherwise known as ‘offloading’. Offloading can take several hours depending on how congested the Emergency Room might be on any given day, which prevents 911 ambulances from being available for the next emergency calls. This service will initially be provided to those who call for an ambulance, within the CONFIRE service area. Data provided by CONFIRE (Emergency Communications Center) for calendar year 2019, identifies approximately 155,211 medical calls processed in San Bernardino County, 125,500 or 81% of those medical calls were processed by CONFIRE, which use the Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) system to distinguish severity of patient illness or injury. 911 calls deemed non-emergency and that may benefit from ECNS is projected to be approximately 12% of the calls processed by EMD. Current 911 response includes an ambulance and a fire department sent to every call. In an effort to maximize available resources and minimize emergency responses to calls that don’t warrant an “emergency” level of response, the Ad Hoc identified the ECNS as a solution that can be applied to through the dispatch phase of the 911 system, while positively impacting the rest of the first response system.
ECNS will facilitate county residents in receiving the right care at the right time in the right place, while freeing up ambulances and fire crews for situations that require their urgent attention. The process includes:
Thanks to the Federal CARES Act funding received by the County, the CONFIRE Emergency Communications Center governing board has approved the initial implementation of the ECNS program, which includes services to the residents of Colton, Loma Linda, Apple Valley, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Chino Valley, Rialto, San Bernardino County, Big Bear, Montclair, San Manuel, Running Springs, and Victorville. The program began on Friday November 27, 2020.
The ECNS to be implemented in San Bernardino County through CONFIRE is modeled after the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority’s (REMSA) ECNS system. REMSA serves the Reno, NV area. From January 2013 – June 2016, the data shows that the Reno ECNS:
For more information, visit goSBCTA.com/sbcog.