Hudson County Communications Emergency Network (HUDCEN)
Jersey City Medical Center EMS operates the Hudson County Communications Emergency Network (HUDCEN). HUDCEN is staffed by a minimum of two NAED certified Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatchers who are also certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) or Paramedics (MICP), exceeding the Office of Emergency Telecommunications Services (OETS) requirements. In addition, a shift supervisor (also dual certified as an NAED Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatcher and either EMT or MICP) is present 24/7/365 to oversee dispatch center operations. An EMS Communications Manager and Coordinator are assigned to oversee the operations. In addition to the above certifications, all HUDCEN staff must be trained in HazMat Awareness, HazMat Operations, CBRNE (WMD) Awareness, CBRNE (WMD) Operations, Incident Command Systems and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Upgraded in the last five years, HUDCEN is the designated Public Safety Dispatch Point (PSDP) for emergency medical 9-1-1 calls in greater Hudson County. In addition, HUDCEN is the dispatch and coordination point for all ALS responses in greater Hudson County and BLS responses in the City of Jersey City and Township of Secaucus. HUDCEN also coordinates hospital bed status and disaster response for greater Hudson County. HUDCEN monitors and maintains communication capability on VHF New Jersey Emergency Medical Services -Radio System (JEMS) channels 1-4, the Hudson County Emergency Management Radio System, NJ MICU Radio Network, NJ Trauma Radio Network, and UHF MED Channels.
Emergency call tracking and area hospital bed status are maintained in a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. All calls received and unit response data are retrievable via computer terminals. Statistical data is also produced by the dispatch system. All radio and telephone traffic is recorded on writable DVD RAM media, and kept on file indefinitely. HUDCEN is supported by and fully integrated into the Jersey City Medical Center's emergency plans. These comprehensive emergency plans provide for utility failure, fire, bomb threat, internal disaster, and hazardous material spill.
The Jersey City Medical Center has invested in a county-wide repeated VHF and UHF communication system. This system allows for portable-to-portable communications throughout Hudson County. In addition, we have four tactical frequencies that can be used during large-scale events such as a mass casualty incident.
In 2006, HUDCEN received a major upgrade in infrastructure making it the only EMS 9-1-1 dispatch center on the Northeast coast to integrate Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVL) using a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) to efficiently track and assign units to priority calls for EMS. HUDCEN also received state-of-the-art call and computer technology to predict where calls will come from. Together, it allows us to put the right resources at the right locations to ensure responders arrive quickly for medical emergencies.
To further enhance services, HUDCEN utilizes FirstWatch®, a real-time, web-based, situational awareness, data surveillance and early-warning software system. FirstWatch is custom-tailored for our agency to monitor trends and patterns in 9-1-1 call center data that could indicate a possible incident of significance. FirstWatch allows authorized users to securely monitor statistically significant occurrences in user-defined criteria—from a situational awareness, homeland security, public health or operational standpoint.