Rockcom dispatch center at Mercyhealth will get a much-needed upgrade

After nearly 35 years in a narrow strip, Rockcom gets a much-needed expansion, which includes more workspaces and enhanced technology.
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - An area hospital with a dispatch center the size of a walk-in closet gets a much-needed expansion.

Rockcom is the communication center at Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea hospital that helps with 911 calls. After nearly 35 years in a narrow strip, the center gets a much-needed expansion, which includes more workspaces and enhanced technology.

“We’ve seen a progressive need in this community for quality dispatching services and now more than ever more communities trust their dispatching needs to rock out and so we’re excited about the expansion,” says Mercyhealth Associate EMS Medical Director Dr. Matt Smetana.

Dispatch center staff assist nine area fire and e-m-s organizations, including the North Park Fire Department.

“Everything we do in the fire service, whether you’re a small department like we are a huge department, it’s all incremental change. Every little bit you can do to get better. And this is just one more little checkoff and one more little step we can do to improve the quality of the product we provide our community,” says North Park Fire Chief Joel Hallstrom.

While dispatchers work behind the scenes, Hallstrom says their work shouldn’t go unnoticed. This expansion not only means more staff, but improved communication to better assist the community at any time of the day.

“They’re our prime means of communication to get the police coming if we’re in trouble. And those kinds of things so they, they really kind of our unsung heroes,” says Hallstrom.

“Our dispatchers have a unique advantage because they’re fully integrated with our health system as well. So they’re able to take the information that they hear from the pre-hospital side, the dispatch side and carry that through from the hospital side as well,” says Dr. Smetana.

Mercyhealth officials say the expansion project is slated to start this fall. When completed, the size of the dispatch center will have tripled.

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