County restructuring EMS organization


The Delaware County Board of Commissioners has announced its next step toward a reorganization of its Emergency Medical Services Department.

“We are continuing a process begun last year,” said Barb Lewis, this year’s president of the Delaware County Board of Commissioners. “We decided an enhancement to our EMS leadership structure was necessary to meet the needs of our fast-growing community and to improve collaboration of EMS resources through Delaware County. The current model of chief and assistant chiefs was not able to meet those demands.”

Lewis said the new model allows for a leader to establish a vision through strategic planning, followed by implementation. Earlier this year, the Commissioners’ Office, to which the EMS department reports, opened a candidate search for a new position that would be titled Director of Emergency Medical Services. Fifty-one candidates applied from throughout the U.S. On May 24, Jeff Fishel, the top-ranked candidate, accepted the offered position. He will be joining Delaware County later this summer.

Fishel, currently the executive director of the LeFlore County EMS in Oklahoma, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Governors University and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas Tech University. He earned his paramedic certification through the EMSTA College in Santee, California. He previously has worked in the EMS field in San Diego, California, and in Williamson County, Texas.

“We are very excited to welcome Jeff to Delaware County,” said Delaware County Deputy Administrator Dawn Huston. “Jeff has significant field-command experience in a growing system, combined with leadership experience in strategic planning and implementation, and we look forward to supporting him and the entire Delaware County EMS team of professionals as our system continues to evolve in the future.”

Huston also announced that Assistant Chief Eric Burgess will serve as interim chief of Delaware County EMS, filling the position left vacant by the recent departure of former EMS Chief Mike Schuiling, who has joined Liberty Township in Delaware County as its township administrator. County Administrator Mike Frommer will serve as interim administrative director until Fishel begins his tenure.

Special to The Gazette

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