New control desk provides one on one support to crews

HEOC dispatcher

A new control desk has been launched region-wide to help provide dedicated support to crews at ‘unusual’ incidents.

The ‘incident command desk’ (ICD) will help to manage specific incidents that need additional or specialist skills, vehicles or equipment, and is manned 24/7 by an experienced dispatch team leader and supported by the critical care paramedic team.

Housed within the regional coordination centre in Chelmsford EOC, the desk will ask crews on selected incidents to move channels so the dispatcher can focus solely on the crew and provide direct support. This continues until the crew becomes available at hospital or clears from the scene, at which point they move back to their normal working channel.

The desk uses Channel 1 as its dedicated digital radio channel; and if you need to contact the desk directly you can reach it on 01245 444471.

Adrian, who runs the regional co-ordination centre, said the set-up was beneficial for crews and EOC staff: “The ICD will allow crews at more difficult incidents to get dedicated, one-on-one support so we can dispatch any resources and equipment they need for the patient to them quickly. It will also help to free up our EOCs to focus on our more routine emergency and urgent calls.

“The desk has been running in a shadow form for a number of weeks and I’m really pleased that we’ve now been able to launch it region-wide. I’d like to thank everyone involved, and hope that it will provide more support for crews and EOCs alike. We’d welcome feedback from staff so please do get in touch if you have ideas of how it could be adapted to further meet your needs. ”

The type of incidents that the ICD will look at include:

  • any incident requiring the deployment of three or more ambulances (specifically DSAs)
  • potential viral haemorrhagic fever / ebola related
  • chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN )/ hazardous material (hazmat )
  • suspected / actual acts of terrorism
  • suspected / actual explosive devises
  • transportation incidents involving any aircraft or train
  • public disorder
  • large industrial fires / explosions
  • water rescue
  • firearms incidents
  • pre-planned / large public gatherings
  • major incident standby or declared
  • escalating incidents due to large casualty numbers. 

You can contact a member of team for more information, or to share any feedback, at

Published 2nd April 2015 

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