The Federal Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973 established the concept of a Central Medical Emergency Direction (CMED) Center. Regional CMED Centers throughout Massachusetts provide specialized communications functions to connect, at a minimum, hospitals and EMS providers. CMED Centers play an important role in coordinating daily EMS communications as well as during disasters and mass casualty incidents.
The NorthEast EMS Region III CMED center, located at the Lawrence General Hospital, is the communications link between ambulances and hospitals, providing an effective communications system for EMS field operations, on-line medical control and management of mass casualty/disaster incidents in Region III.
On a daily basis NorthEast CMED assists EMS field personnel with communications to local hospitals, connects prehospital care providers to local Emergency Departments to facilitate medical direction, manages medical radio channel usage, maintains a clear procedure for EMS communications within the region, and provides interoperability with other public safety agencies.
During natural disasters or other large-scale mass casualty incidents, CMED is the central resource for coordinated emergency response. Upon notification of a significant incident CMED deploys the regional mass casualty support units (MCI Trailers), coordinates requests for EMS resources in conjunction with fire district control centers, obtains emergency departments care capabilities (including decontamination), coordinates patient distribution, coordinates forward movement of patients during surge events and requests and coordinates distribution of EMS CHEMPAK supplies if needed.