New expansion of the Cape May County Dispatch center

Training dispatcher Ted Farina works with trainee KelliAnn Muller at the Cape May County dispatch center in Lower Township. The center serves the township, Avalon, Stone Harbor and Wildwood Crest, as well as the county Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s offices.

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — First responders out of the Cape May County Joint Dispatch Center are getting a leg up during emergencies by finding out a resident’s health issues before they even get to the scene.

Dispatchers and fire responders will now have access to health and demographic information for members of the MedicAlert Foundation, a nonprofit that offers medical ID bracelets and memberships that help first responders identify a patient’s medical needs during an emergency, according to a news release from the county.

“This new feature will absolutely save lives and improve the instant medical response to first responders before they even get to the patient,” county Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton said. “This is another important component of the county’s joint dispatch center and is available to local communities who have made the move to joint dispatch.”

The county Joint Dispatch Center provides services for Lower Township, Avalon, Stone Harbor and Wildwood Crest, as well as the county Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s offices. Other towns in the county handle their own dispatch.

Dispatchers will have access to MedicAlert members’ information through a phone number associated with their members or by obtaining a membership ID number, according to the release, allowing them to get the data when members call 911 or if a bystander makes the call.

Before partnering with the nonprofit, first responders would have to find a MedicAlert bracelet at the scene of an emergency to get their patient’s medical information, according to the release. Now, the information will be automatically transmitted through dispatchers to first responders before they get to the scene.

“Every second counts, and all medical information is essential when it comes to a medical emergency,” said county Emergency Management Director Martin Pagliughi. “The communities that are part of the county’s central dispatch program automatically have this component integrated into the services we provide, as well as communities who join central dispatch in the future.”

The foundation has more than 10 million members, according to the release, including those with autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, hypertension, allergies and other health issues.

Contact: 609-272-7241 Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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