This year MePACS personal alarms turned 30 years old! We are so proud of where we have come from. In 1989 having only 30 clients just in Victoria to where we now to caring for over 40,000 clients Australia wide.
Our MePACS Technician Rob has worked at MePACS since day 1, back in October 1989 and gave us an insight into how the MePACS alarm service has grown and changed over 30 years. We are just amazed to see how far the company and technology has come!
Rob had worked at Peninsula Health since 1985 and at the time he was in his second year at night school doing an Electronics course when he decided to apply for the role of an Electrician at MePACS.
MePACS was the brain child of Jim Fulton, then CEO of The Mt Eliza Centre, and Pam Barrow who was part of the Mt Eliza Aged Care Assessment Team. Together they realised that there was a need for a 24/7 response centre for those who wanted to stay living independently in their own home, but needed reassurance that emergency support was there if required. Once the service was established, Pam became the Manager of the Mt Eliza Personal Alarm Centre. Pam would personally visit every new client and set up their MePACS service for them.
In 1989, MePACS were originally a sole-based government allocated service – this meant that the only clients MePACS had were from the Victorian government. The government originally assigned 30 alarm units to those people who they assessed as in need of the 24/7 service. These people lived alone and required a relatively high level of medication and medical care. Over the course of the day and night there was initially 3 x 8 hour shifts, and during business hours ( 7am to 3.30pm) there were three office staff, Pam and a technician.
These shifts saw a total of 5 staff working in the office at any one time – as response monitors, computer staff and reception. Mt Eliza reception staff (separate from MePACS) took over monitoring (apart from their normal duties) on weekends (7am – 3.30).
Our response staff would receive the medical alerts from a dot matrix printer connected via a modem to the main digital alarm receiver as our alarm base units at this time didn’t have voice to voice – all call notes were also made on this one piece of paper.
There would also be an alarm signal sound in the monitoring office each time a client was pressing their alarm. The MePACS operators would then need to manually dial through to our clients on their landline telephone number. It wasn’t until 1992 that MePACS response operators were able to receive alarm signals via their computers.
It was the early 1990’s and MePACS had built a great reputation for our great quality of care and service. As a result, we started receiving an influx of calls from members of the public who were wanting to take up the service for themselves.
So in the mid- 90’s MePACS was finally able to expand their service and developed a private client system. This was an exciting time for MePACS, as we could now service a further 1,500 privately funded clients.
In 1997, our alarm home base units incorporated a voice to voice box system which allowed our staff to communicate with our clients through the 2-way speaker on the alarm.
By the year 2000, MePACS had now grown to over 8,500 clients Victoria wide.
In 2016, it was a great occasion when MePACS became a national service.
The number of clients MePACS has from the disability sector continues to rise. MePACS are so proud of this momentous occasion. Expanding to the disability community meant that not only the elderly had access our service but also those members of the community who wanted and needed additional 24/7 access to emergency help.
In 2017 we introduced our MePACS mobile & duress alarm services. The mobile service was designed for people who like to get out of the house to visit the shops, library, friends, go walking or even on holiday in Australia. We are proud to have thousands of clients signed up to the home & mobile service and we are thrilled that our products encourage those to live a social and active lifestyle while also giving them peace of mind and security that should they need help MePACS are still there for them.
Our MePACS Duress service is trusted by thousands of lone workers in Australia. These lone workers range from doctors and medical professionals, social workers and people working in remote areas at night. MePACS are proud to highlight that 80% of clients with a MePACS duress alarm feel safer at work, while over 90% of MePACS Duress clients say they feel more supported by their organisation by offering them a duress alarm.
At the end of 2019, MePACS were thrilled to have reached so many milestones within just the last 12 months. We are proud to now have over 40,000 clients across every state in Australia. Our products and services are expanding and we have some exciting announcements to make in the new year.
Technology is developing and so must we, we listen to our clients and are we are so proud to be a leader within the personal alarm industry – we thank you our clients and their families for your continued support and loyalty, we would not be who we are without you!
It is important to note that the MePACS primary values have never changed – We have always been a 24/7 alarm response centre who base our service around the care of our clients and personal touch.