antenna sites in Prince George's County. Region 5 EMRC will initially start by providing medical consults for medic units in Prince George's County, then expand to all EMS units in the county. This was to have started in January, but progress has been hampered due to problems with several Bell Atlantic circuits. By the end of the year, the plan is to have Region 5 EMRC serve all of Region 5, which includes Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and Saint Mary's counties.
Like Region 3 EMRC, the Region 5 EMRC will be a "medical consultation clearinghouse" for ambulance-to-hospital communication. Region 5 EMRC will be able to handle three simultaneous radio consults over the med channels, phone patches, and two simultaneous consultations on each planned or existing 800 MHz system in the region.
EMS units with multiple victims can be patched through to several receiving hospitals simultaneously by EMRC. For trauma center consultations, EMRC operators will route the call to SysCom. EMRC, by the way, is also the state's reference source for anti-venom.
Only medical consultations will go through EMRC. The county-operated emergency operations centers in Region 5 will continue to dispatch, communicate and maintain status of their EMS units, clear calls, perform routine hospital notifications, work in conjunction with SysCom for helicopter dispatch, monitor hospital diversion status for EMS units and will remain the central communications link for each ambulance and medic unit. The existing centers will also serve as a backup for Region 5 EMRC.
Towers covering Prince George's County will expand from three to seven, with upgraded equipment. The existing sites are at Dysons (off Route 301, near Charles County), District Heights and Greenbelt. An automatic voting system with additional sites at Mount Hope (Calvert), Woodside (Georgia Avenue), Burtonsville, Crownsville and LaPlata will enhance coverage. Presently a dispatcher at Prince George's County's Central Communications Facility