New EMS director likely chosen tonight

Gary B. Gray • Dec 10, 2012 at 9:20 PM

The new Washington County-Johnson City EMS executive director is expected to be named tonight.

“I can say that the (EMS) Executive Committee will make its recommendation to the EMS Board of Directors,” County Mayor Dan Eldridge said Monday.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. in a training room next to 296 Wesley St. station.

Eldridge; along with City Manager Pete Peterson; Dr. Mark Wilkinson, senior partner with Johnson City Emergency Physicians; and Jack Hall, EMS board member, have worked with the state’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service Municipal Management Consultant, Pat Hardy, to screen 60 applications.

The committee met on Nov. 27 and narrowed the field to four.

Two of the four finalists are in-house candidates. Brad Gerfin has worked with the agency since 1998. He is serving as interim executive director and is the former operations director. Dan Wheeley has been with the agency since 1999. The captain is serving as the interim operations director.

Out-of-state candidates include Allen Sims of Spring, Texas, who is the EMS director for the Montgomery County (Texas) County Hospital District, and Mark English of Harrison, Pa., a paramedic and rescue specialist.

“The gist of it is, we now have a short list of four candidates,” Eldridge told the Johnson City Press on Nov. 30. “At this point, (Hardy) will schedule face-to-face interviews, and our hope is to make a recommendation to the full board in December.”

The opening, which was still posted on the MTAS and Johnson City websites at that time, indicated the salary ranges from the “low $70s and moves up depending on qualifications.” The director is responsible for all EMS operations including administration of 114 full-time employees and a $10 million budget. The successful candidate must have at least five years in an EMS supervisory and management role and must be EMS licensed in Tennessee or obtain a license within three months.

The Oct. 4 job posting came 22 days before former Executive Director Allen Taylor retired Oct. 26 after 39 years of service with that entity in six different positions beginning when he returned from Vietnam. Taylor served 15 years as director.

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