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San Ramon Valley Fire earns world renown for emergency dispatch center

Among 24 throughout the world to have dual fire and medical accreditation

SRVFPD officials at the Emergency Fire Dispatch Accreditation Award Ceremony, in National Harbor, Md., April 24. From left to right: Rahul Maharaj EMD-Q, Director Matt Stamey, Fire Board President Dominique Yancey, dispatch supervisor Stephen Rodwell, deputy chief Frank Drayton and director of emergency communications Denise Pangelinan. (Photo courtesy SRVFPD)

Response times and clear communication with people in dangerous situations is a common priority for police and fire services throughout the world, and the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District has been recognized as having some of the highest quality 9-1-1 emergency communication services in the country.

Announced by SRVFPD officials last week, the district’s communication center is the 47th emergency dispatch center in the world to attain International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) status as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) for its use of the Fire Priority Dispatch System.

This accreditation is on top of San Ramon’s previous recognition as an ACE for its use of the Medical Priority Dispatch System, classifying the district as one of the highest-performing emergency dispatch agencies in the world. SRVFPD officials stated that only 24 centers on earth have this dual fire and medical accreditation.

“This is a pretty big deal for our dispatchers,” said Denise Pangelinan, the SRVFPD’s director of emergency communications. “We’re an (Emergency Medical Dispatch) ACE and wanted to continue to maintain that standard of care for fire. The staff was excited to do it. We got a lot of buy-in. They knew they would be held to a strict standard and knew that straight out of the chute we’d be going for accreditation.”

Obtaining a status as one of the most effective dispatch centers in the state, San Ramon is the only primary agency in California dispatching Police, Fire and EMS services that has dual Fire and Medical accreditation

“People in this community embrace the fact that we’re an ACE,” Pangelinan said. “They embrace call response time. It’s all about getting information quickly and getting the right resources on the scene.”

The accreditation process is an intensive self-assessment based on the IEAD’s rigorous 20 Points of Accreditation, SRVFPD officials said. Achieving accreditation is no easy task and in order to do so the SRVFPD had to meet or exceed all 20 points, which cover quality assurance, monthly average case evaluations, appointment of a medical director and a description of the agencies response assignments.

“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into achieving ACE status,” said IAED Chair of Accreditation Christof C. Chwojka. “We’re certainly proud of this agency and its accomplishment. It’s not easy becoming an ACE in two disciplines, but everyone at San Ramon did amazing work.”

Recently it was announced by the San Ramon City Council that the SRVFPD and San Ramon Police Department are considering consolidating their headquarters into one centrally located building within San Ramon. The joint public safety building would be located within the SRPD’s current headquarters, and in addition to both police and fire administration, would house both an Emergency Operations and 911 Communications centers.

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