The life of the Vaudois alarm centers has turned out to be anything but a long calm river in recent months. In February 2022, a deep crisis broke out within the Urgences Santé Foundation (which manages number 144), then on the verge of implosion, between a loss of personnel, dilapidated premises and obsolete equipment, forcing the Council of State to muscular recovery.
A few weeks later, the merger of the Lausanne police headquarters and that of the cantonal police caused tensions, exacerbating the discomfort of the staff and prompting an intervention at the Grand Council. Today, the canton wants to turn the page and presented this Thursday morning the brand new premises of its new unified call center, which will be gradually put into service during this year.
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“This is a group of a unique scale in Switzerland, we hope that our example will be followed”, welcomed the State Councilor Vassilis Venizelos, in charge in particular of security. Located at the heart of the new ECA headquarters, on the heights of Lausanne, the unified central will eventually bring together the emergency centers 117, 118 and 144, as well as the call center for on-duty doctors (CTMG), the future central the coordinated management of traffic in the Lausanne-Morges conurbation and the operations command post of the cantonal driving staff. The cost of its facilities called ARC (for Alarm Receiving Center) amounts to 34 million francs. The move concerns some 220 people.
Rise in emergency calls
“These infrastructures will make it possible to offer high-level services essential to the safety of the population of Vaud”, added the elected Green, stressing that the number of emergencies was constantly increasing, in connection with the growth and the aging of the population, the increase in traffic and the impacts of climate change. Each year in the canton, there are 250,000 calls to 117, 135,000 calls to 118, 237,000 calls to 144 and 247,000 calls to the CTMG.
“There are also periods of high pressure such as during the end of year celebrations. The number of daily calls to the call center for on-call doctors has thus increased from 1,000 to 2,000,” comments Denis Froidevaux, chairman of the ARC strategic committee. The one who is also head of the EMCC speaks of a “quantum leap” when he talks about the new facilities, spacious, secure, equipped with technology that will allow many developments.
Read also: “We are going straight into the wall”: the staff of 117 Vaudois cracks
State Councilor in charge of health, Rebecca Ruiz insists on improving the working conditions of employees, who “have complicated schedules, working 24 hours a day, and having to deal with human distress” . The socialist is finally delighted to see gathered in one place “all the teams working at the bedside of emergencies, which will prove to be a real added value in the event of a crisis”.