Trauma Communication Center


Helicopter crew on scene assisting injured boy.


Oregon - National Leader in Trauma Strategy

25 years ago Oregon became the second state in the nation to establish a trauma system designed to triage, treat, and track seriously injured patients.  The Trauma Communication Center located in Portland, OR. plays a pivotal role relaying information between first responders and receiving hospitals.


Coordinated Care Saves Lives

The Trauma Communication Center monitors the status of the two Portland Level 1 trauma centers, OHSU and Legacy Emanuel.  We direct ambulances to the right hospital based on

  • Scene location
  • Hospital status
  • Number of injured patients

If one facility is on divert we send the patient to the other trauma center.  For 3 or more victims, we distribute the patients to avoid hospital overload.


When the Outcome is Life or Death - Minutes Count

Critical injuries demand an immediate response. The Trauma Communication Center:

  • Has a dedicated 800 MHz trauma channel and recorded telephone lines.
  • Provides one contact point for paramedics and trauma teams.
  • Gets needed information with the least amount of questions.
  • Gives crucial updates to the receiving hospital.
  • Pages the OHSU trauma teams.
  • Activate the OHSU helipad when needed.


Statewide Trauma Registry

All radio or phone calls into the Trauma Communication Center are on recorded lines.  Documentation of every patient is done in our secure database.  Information is collected about:

  • Scene location
  • Time of incident
  • EMS response
  • Type of accident
  • Patient information
  • Types of injuries and EMS care


Researchers use our data to:

  • Study trauma system effectiveness
  • Analyze trial medications
  • Recommend quality control and improvement
  • Human geography for EMS studies

 Emergency Transport Coordinator taking a trauma scene call.

Our History at OHSU

 In 1987 the Emergency Communication Center was selected to be the Trauma Communication Center for Region 1, the Portland Metropolitan area and Southwest Washington.  Every year thousands of trauma system entries are made through the Trauma Communication Center to Oregon's Level 1 trauma centers.