File Photo – North East Regional Communications Center in McHenry | Photo: McHenry Police Department

The North East Regional Communications Center, located in McHenry and covering 911 calls for much of McHenry County, has received the highest awarded distinction from an international organization.

The dispatch center, known as NERCOM, was recognized by The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) for Emergency Medical Dispatching.

NERCOM is the 307th Medical ACE in the world, according to the McHenry Police Department.

IAED is the standard-setting organization for emergency dispatch services worldwide.

Accreditation and re-accreditation from the IAED is the highest distinction given to emergency communication centers, “certifying that the center is performing at or above the established standards for the industry,” according to the police department.

“Centers that earn ACE status are the embodiment of dispatch done right, and have demonstrated strong local oversight, rigorous quality processes, and a commitment to data-driven continuous improvement,” the department said in a statement.

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NERCOM dispatches for 16 different agencies in McHenry County, which includes agencies in McHenry, Cary, Woodstock, Fox River Grove, Harvard, Marengo, Johnsburg and Union.

They also dispatch for the Nunda Rural Fire Protection District in unincorporated Crystal Lake.

In 2021, NERCOM answered 41,445 emergency 911 calls and 79,842 non-emergency calls.

The dispatch center has 22 full-time telecommunicators along with the center’s supervisor, Jenny Synek.

McHenry Police Chief John Birk said his police department was thrilled to receive the award.

“We are thrilled to receive this award, it supports our organizational value of “service” to others through excellence in emergency medical dispatching,” Birk said.

“Accreditation is truly a pinnacle achievement,” said Christof Chwojka, Accreditation Board Chair at IAED.

“We applaud the dedicated call-takers, dispatchers, and leadership team at the McHenry Police Department / NERCOM for their commitment to quality, and for meeting that high standard that few achieve. We know their community can count on these first, first responders to do an outstanding job,” Chwojka said.

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IAED will present the McHenry Police Department with an accreditation plaque to commemorate the achievement.