EMS to get new director

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2006

WINTON – Pursuant to the budget proposed by Hertford County Manager Loria Williams, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division will soon have a new director.

The EMS department has previously been under the stewardship of county Emergency Management Director Charles Jones.

Jones will remain in his capacity as Emergency Management Director, but will relinquish his authority over the EMS division once a new director is named.

Williams explained that part of her budget recommendations required that some services be reorganized in order to provide a level of efficiency consummate with the growth of the county and the needs of its citizens.

In an effort to clarify the new management structure, Williams stated that the new director would report directly to the County Manager’s office and would be charged with all supervisory, budgetary and administrative oversight of emergency medical functions.

&uot;EMS will operate outside the auspices of the Emergency Management department as a stand alone division,&uot; Williams stated.

The Emergency Management department will still be the oversight for animal control, Homeland Security and the Fire Marshall’s office.

&uot;Managing all of those services was really too much for one person to be responsible for,&uot; Williams continued. &uot;Charles has graciously agreed to continue to oversee the EMS department until a director can be appointed.&uot;

Williams said that she had been in contact with Donny Sides the director of the state’s oversight organization for EMS, in an effort to help the county restructure the department to meet current expectations and standards.

Williams went on to say that Hertford County Medical Director Dr. Joe Tripp would continue to perform in his current capacity.

&uot;Dr. Tripp will assist in the screening process for the new EMS Director,&uot; Williams said.

The EMS department recently came under fire when Robert Cutler, president of the Ahoskie Rescue Squad, addressed the Ahoskie Town Council and made claims of non-cooperation between the two services.

Cutler also made the assertion that the relationship between the two emergency service entities had eroded to the point where name-calling and finger pointing was becoming all too frequent.

In a telephone interview on Thursday, Jones defended his tenure as EMS director.

&uot;I’ve been satisfied with the growth and level of service that we have been able to provide Hertford County,&uot; Jones explained.

&uot;We started as an ambulance service and evolved into a daytime service, eventually becoming the 24-hour emergency provider that we are today without effecting any further burden on our taxpayers.&uot;

Jones noted that contrary to some reports, the county’s EMS service provides one of the lowest per-trip costs in the state.

&uot;Our cost for transport in the town limits is approximately $243,&uot; Jones said. &uot;Some of the reports concerning our response time and expenses are erroneous.&uot;

Jones said that he was proud of the accomplishments of EMS during his tenure.

&uot;It has been a difficult undertaking growing the EMS department to its current level,&uot; Jones continued. &uot;I believe that we have served the community well.&uot;