During Monday’s Delaware County Board of Commissioners meeting, Jeff Fishel, Delaware County Emergency Medical Services (DCEMS) director and chief, introduced the department’s newly reorganized leadership team to the commissioners.
“We knew from the beginning that we wanted a team that had some national expertise,” said Michael Frommer, county administrator. “We also wanted to leverage our strength, our very strong core of medic units that have a lot of experience with the county that does great things.”
According to a county press release, Fishel was selected from a pool of national candidates and hired to the newly formed position of DCEMS director and chief in July. He moved to Delaware County from Oklahoma and has also worked in California and Texas.
“Our leadership team starts in the field with our paramedics, our lieutenants, and our captains, many of which are sitting here today,” Fishel said. “Personally, I’m very proud of the team that we have put together.”
While introducing the team, Fishel revealed two new assistant chief positions to oversee the paramedic training programs for continued quality and improvement as part of the administrative team.
Fishel started with Assistant Chief Eric Burgess, who served as interim chief after Chief Michael Schuiling’s departure to accept the position as Liberty Township administrator.
“He has served the citizens of the county since 2001 and served as assistant chief since 2014,” Fishel said of Burgess. “Eric is extremely active statewide and locally for EMS as he sits on many different advisory boards to help shape the future of EMS, and recently, (he) completed his master’s in public safety administration in July.”
Fishel added the assistant chief will continue to oversee DCEMS operations, and Jennifer Cochran, a 22-year veteran of DCEMS, will join him as the new assistant chief of administration.
Fishel said Cochran has been a licensed paramedic in the state of Ohio since 1995. He added she was recently promoted to field captain, holds an associate degree in surgical technology, and intends to obtain a bachelor of science in business. In addition, she is a founding member of the Delaware County Peer Support team for Critical Incident Stress Management, and a level one Yoga instructor for first responders.
From Columbus State Community College comes Scott Gano, Paramedics’ Program and Anatomy Lab director, who is a 21-year veteran of DCEMS. Gano has served as a full-time paramedic, but currently works part-time now.
Fishel said Gano will be a training captain responsible for preparing a comprehensive curriculum that goes beyond the certification minimums. He will be responsible for focusing on training personnel in new techniques to remain at the forefront of the EMS industry.
Filling the newly created position of Continuous Quality Improvement captain will be Glen Keating, a 10-year veteran at DCEMS who will work with Dr. Ashish Panchal, medical director, to review patient interaction to ensure that performance is at the highest industry levels.
Fishel added a number of other county, township, and city departments were involved in the interview process.
“They had an influence and input on the position as well, and we’re very excited to extend this out into the county with our partners and other first responder agencies,” Fishel told commissioners. “We look forward to the future of Delaware County EMS. The future is very bright.”
Commissioners commissioned Fitch and Associates of Platte City, Missouri, to conduct an analysis of the county EMS and the seven other departments within the county. After receiving the draft report, the commissioners saw opportunities to become an industry-leading provider through training and Continuous Quality Improvement processes, which the department plans to offer to the other seven departments.
For more information about Delaware County Emergency Medical Services, visit its website at https://ems.co.delaware.oh.us/.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.