Emergency centre

There are 10 emergency centres in Belgium: one in each provincial capital, with the exception of Walloon Brabant, and one in the Brussels-Capital Region. The calls from Walloon Brabant are handled by the Hainaut emergency centre.

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Via the emergency number 112, a person requesting emergency care in Belgium is referred to one of the 10 emergency centres. The centres are manned by 482 operators[1]. An operator at the emergency centre will answer the call and analyse the request for help. Using the Belgian Medical Regulation Manual, which consists of established protocols, the emergency centre classifies the request for help into a severity level. The most appropriate resource (an ambulance, a Paramedical Intervention Team (PIT) or a Mobile Emergency Group (MUG/SMUR)) is then dispatched (see the chapter entitled ‘The various emergency services for emergency assistance’).

The operators are assisted by a medical director[2], a deputy medical director[3] and nurse regulators. They are seconded from the FPS HFCSE.

  • The medical director is responsible for supervising the medical quality of the emergency care. He/she must have a diploma as an emergency physician. He/she is the link with the provincial committee for emergency medical services (see ‘Quality’ section).
  • The deputy medical director holds the special professional title of emergency nurse. Under the coordination of the medical director, he/she performs tasks at the emergency centre as a functional medical authority, as a project officer, and act as a link between the various partners of the 112 centre.
  • The nurse regulator[4] supports and coaches the operators by offering them, among other things, adequate medical training. The nurse holds a special professional title of emergency nurse. In addition, he/she should have specific training in crisis management and contingency planning.

 

[1]Source: FPS Home Affairs and Firefighting and Emergency Medical Assistance service of the Brussels Capital Region

[2]The duties of the medical director are laid down in the Royal Decree defining the function, tasks and competence profile of the medical director of 112 centres

[3]The duties of the deputy medical director are laid down in the Royal Decree defining the function, tasks and competence profile of the deputy medical director of 112 centres

[4]The duties of the nurse regulator are laid down in the Royal Decree defining the function, tasks and competence profile of the nurse regulator