When the call for help comes into 911, it sets in motion an entire chain of events. Dispatchers use the Computer Aided Medical Priority Dispatch System to prioritize incoming calls, provide pre-arrival medical instructions to callers. At the same time, another dispatcher uses global positioning satellite tracking equipment and on-board mobile status terminals to determine the closest available ambulance. In addition to the responding ambulance, the appropriate first-responder agency is dispatched as well. First responders are certified as EMT’s and provide medical care until an ambulance arrives and then assist the Paramedics with patient care. Some calls required extra resources. Heavy rescue services are provided by county volunteer rescue squads and fire departments and the Charlotte Fire Department. Hazardous materials support is also available from the Charlotte Fire Department HazMat Team. Emergency flight service is provided by MedCenter Air, operated by Carolinas Medical Center, and serves the Charlotte region with three helicopters.
MEDIC responds to all 911 emergency medical calls. Additionally, MEDIC also provides non-emergency transports within the region. Mecklenburg EMS responds with an advanced life support crew of two, one of whom is a paramedic and the other who is either a paramedic, or EMT. Currently, MEDIC utilizes type I diesel modulars on Chevrolet and International Navistar chassis as well as Dodge Sprinters. At the present time there are more than 70 ambulances in the MEDIC fleet.
Mecklenburg EMS operates approximately between twenty and fifty ambulances depending on time of day. These ambulances respond from stations located throughout the county. Stations are located at local hospitals, co-located in Charlotte or county fire stations and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.