EMS chief hired in Chambersburg

February 12, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - More than two years after the resignation of John Vanlandingham, the Chambersburg Borough Council voted unanimously Monday night to hire a 25-year veteran of the Scranton (Pa.) Fire Department as its new emergency services chief.

Terrence Osborne was selected from more than 100 applicants for the position and will begin work April 7. A member of the Scranton department since 1983, Osborne was named deputy chief in 1996, Council President William McLaughlin said.

Osborne's salary has not been set, McLaughlin said. The position of EMS chief pays $55,000 to $75,000 a year, depending on qualifications.

As emergency services chief, Osborne will be in charge of the fire and ambulance services. The department has the second-largest budget in the borough at approximately $3 million.


Vanlandingham handed in his resignation in November 2005 after coming under fire from some members of the council for what Councilwoman Sharon Bigler called "his apparent lack of management" of the department. Since that time, William Dubbs has been the acting EMS chief.

Dubbs will revert to being deputy chief when Osborne becomes chief, McLaughlin said. The borough previously went through the process of trying to hire a new EMS chief without being able to come up with a candidate to bring before the council for a vote.

"We had a hiring committee that worked very long and hard," Bigler said.

From more than 100 applicants, the pool of candidates was narrowed to 10 who were interviewed, she said. Only one of the 10 finalists previously applied for the EMS job, she said.

From that group, six were selected to take part in an "assessment center," which put the candidates through a series of tactical exercises and scenarios to test their abilities, she said.

"He intelligent, he's educated, but more than that, he's a people person. He's community-oriented," Bigler said.

Osborne has a bachelor's degree in fire science and a master's degree in human resource management, both from the University of Maryland, and is working toward completion of the U.S. Fire Administration's Executive Fire Officer Program, McLaughlin said.

His letters of recommendation included one from Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Edward Mann and one from another Scranton native, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr.

"He has a genuine commitment to public service with the experience, temperament and loyalty to be an effective Emergency Services Chief," wrote Casey, who stated he has known Osborne for more than 30 years.

The borough still has a major vacancy to fill. Police Chief Michael T. DeFrank retired in January after about a quarter of a century in charge of the police department.

The process of hiring his replacement will follow the same lines as was followed for the emergency services chief. A new chief is expected to be hired by late summer.

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