Washington County approves new EMS assistant director position

June 18, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE |
  • Washington County Director of Emergency Services Kevin Lewis.
File photo

Washington County soon will be hiring someone for a new position within its Division of Emergency Services.

The county Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposed modification of the currently vacant emergency services coordinator job to create the position of assistant director of emergency medical services operations.

The now-approved position change will include a pay raise from the county’s Grade 12 level to a Grade 14, which coincides with the increased duties and responsibilities the former position accrued since the county took it over in 2006 from the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, according to emergency services Director Kevin Lewis.

“Over time, we’ve determined the need for (this position) to be more in line with other departments, where direct employees are provided oversight and supervision,” Lewis said. Increasing the pay to a Grade 14 level also be “more in line” with other county departments, he said.

The EMS coordinator’s job was last held by Brigitte Heller, 51, of Boonsboro prior to a car accident in Easton, Md., that claimed her life in June 2012.

“I think her loss was one of the greatest that we’ve had in the EMS in many, many years,” Commissioner William B. McKinley said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Since Heller’s death, many EMS personnel have picked up the slack, which entailed supervising eight full-time and six part-time advanced life support  providers, who are paid at the county’s Grade 12 and Grade 11 levels, respectively.

The previous position also entailed additional meetings and committee requirements.

“It has created a need for much overtime,” McKinley said. “It’s created a lot of stress on the people that were trying to team up and do part of their job and all of their own job.”

The modification will increase the base salary for the new position to $47,658, up from $40,859, according to Stephanie Stone, the county’s director of health and human services.

A Grade 14 position tops out at $74,436 with step increases, she said.

Lewis, who will directly supervise the new employee, originally brought the idea before the five commissioners about two weeks ago, but they wanted more time to consider the requested change and asked that more consideration be given to the proposed job requirements.

In that time, Lewis said he has consulted with volunteer association officials about the new job. The job requirements presented Tuesday were mutually agreed upon by the county and the association, he told the commissioners.

“It was good to see that they took the time to make some modifications to the job description,” Stone said of the involvement of the association’s executive and EMS committees.

McKinley said the county Human Resources Department will begin advertising the job immediately, but he did not know of a target date to fill the position.

“I believe this puts things back in place where they were before,” he said. “I think we’re back to where we ought to be with this.”

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