Denison will soon have a new director overseeing the medical operations at Denison Fire Rescue.
The current medical director Sharon Malone is stepping down on Oct. 31. She will be replaced by Matthew Young for a one year term.
Young is the current medical director for LifeNet Inc., the private firm that the city of Denison recently contracted to handle emergency medical services for the department.
Denison Fire Rescue Chief Gregg Loyd said Young was an easy choice and was already vetted before LifeNet was contracted with Denison. Loyd said the department is already comfortable with the way he does things.
“Their level of care is comparable to ours,” Loyd said. “There are a couple of differences like dosages, small things our guys will have an easy transition. It gives us time to look for an outside medical director. Young is well respected in the state’s health services field. He was a good candidate to get us transitioned to the next step.”
Loyd said Malone decided to step down recently to refocus her attention elsewhere. Malone is also stepping down from her role as medical director in Sherman.
“Malone has been Denison’s medical director at least since 2006,” Loyd said. “At that time, she was a Denison resident. She has since moved out of town. She is very involved in statewide EMS. I think that is where her focus is. At the time she resigned from us she had 12 organizations she proved medical direction for.”
The state requires the department to have a medical director on staff to oversee the orders the paramedics follow. Any measures the paramedics issue must be under the direction of the medical director, Loyd said.
Since the city approved the one-year contract with LifeNet Inc., city staff suggested it would be easier to bring on that firms existing medical director to streamline the process. During the term of the contract, the city will pay Young a retainer of $1,200 a month for his services.
His contract will begin Nov. 1 and expire on Oct. 31, 2020.
The Denison fire department is currently down 10 firefighters whose replacements are going through training right now. The department is also preparing to schedule a captain’s test in order to fill a vacant position.
Loyd said the department prefers to keep an active list to pull from, and right now the department doesn’t have any candidates on the captains list. He said the agreement between the city and LifeNet has taken some time to hash out and he is ready for it to be finalized.
“We have a contract that is suitable for ever body,” Loyd said. “ We look forward to getting going on this, to get some promotions done and get these guys out of school.”
Loyd said the department will be scheduling a battalion chief test following the captain’s test.
What do you think of all the Denison Fire Rescue’s staffing changes recently? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by sending an email to email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.