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OH, WOW.

[00:00:05]

WELCOME

[Roy Bright Moderator Rey Arellano Assistant City Manger Candidates in order are: Jasper Brown Robert Luckritz]

TO THE COMMUNITY INPUT MEETING WITH THE FINAL CANDIDATES FOR THE EMS CHIEF.

THIS EVENING, YOU WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM EACH OF THE CANDIDATES.

AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR TUNING IN TONIGHT.

WE'RE EXCITED TO INTRODUCE TO YOU THE FINALISTS FOR THE EMS CHIEF.

FIRST, LET ME WALK YOU THROUGH THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS.

WE ENGAGE WITH THE SEARCH FIRM AFI ON PUBLIC WHO ADVERTISE THE EMS CHIEF POSITION AND RECEIVE 37 APPLICANTS.

THE APPLICATIONS FOR THE POSITION OPENED SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2021, FOLLOWING CAREFUL SCREENING AND REVIEW BY CITY LEADERSHIP.

THE CANDIDATE POOL WAS NARROWED TO FIVE TOP CANDIDATES.

THOSE CANDIDATES INTERVIEWED WITH TWO PANELS AND FROM THOSE PANELS, TWO CANDIDATES EMERGED INTO THE FINALIST.

YOU WILL BE MEETING THIS EVENING.

NOW WE'RE HERE COMMENTS FROM ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, RAY ARIANO.

THANK YOU, ROY AND GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO ALL OF YOU.

TONIGHT'S COMMUNITY INPUT MEETING, AND YOUR FEEDBACK IS CRITICAL AND INFORMING ME AND THE CITY MANAGER WHO SHOULD BE OUR NEXT EMS CHIEF.

THE EMS CHIEF IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DIRECTING THE STRATEGIC PLANNING, LEADERSHIP AND OVERSIGHT OF ALL OPERATIONS OF THE EMS DEPARTMENT.

THE OFFICE OF THE EMS CHIEF INCLUDES THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS TEAM, HUMAN RESOURCES, BUSINESS ANALYSIS, AND RECHARGE TEAM AND SAFETY.

THE OFFICE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A VARIETY OF TASKS, INCLUDING WORKING WITH AND EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY, ANALYZING DATA TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE, ENSURING CONTINUED EMPLOYEE SAFETY, RECRUITING AND PROVIDING NEEDED RESOURCES TO STAFF.

THE CANDIDATES YOU ARE MEETING TONIGHT HAVE EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF EMS SERVICES AND PROGRAMS. NO DOUBT.

THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS, ALONG WITH THE INPUT, OUR COMMUNITY IS PROVIDING WILL BRING US THE BEST EMS CHIEF.

FOLLOWING THIS MEETING, I WILL TAKE THE TIME TO CONSIDER FEEDBACK.

YOU MIGHT SUBMIT AS WELL AS INFORMATION SUBMITTED THROUGH 3 1, 1, AND SPEAK UP AUSTIN BEFORE MAKING MY RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY MANAGER AS TO WHO SHOULD BE AUSTIN'S NEXT EMS CHIEF.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EVENING'S EVENT.

AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR CANDIDATES WHO I KNOW ARE KEEN TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AND ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS TO HELP US TO GET TO KNOW THEM BETTER.

AND WITH THAT, I'LL TURN IT BACK OVER TO ROY OUTLINE A FEW THINGS RELATED TO OUR MEETING.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW THAT WE VALUE YOUR FEEDBACK.

WE ASK EVERYONE, EVERYONE TO LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY TO TONIGHT'S INTERACTION AND VISIT, SPEAK UP AUSTIN.ORG/EMS-CHIEF-SEARCH TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT EACH CANDIDATES, STRENGTHS AREAS OF CONCERN AND OBSERVATIONS.

EACH CANDIDATE WILL SPEAK IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER FOR UP TO 25 MINUTES, THEY WILL RESPOND TO QUESTIONS THAT ALLOW THEM TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AND WHY THEY ARE INTERESTED IN SERVING THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY AND LEADING OUR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

FOLLOWING THAT A SERIES OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED.

A COUPLE OF THESE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN PUT TOGETHER BY THE CONSULTANT FROM AFI ON PUBLIC AND OUR HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT.

THE REMAINING QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED FROM YOU OUR COMMUNITY, MANY OF WHOM SUBMITTED QUESTIONS THROUGH THE SPEAK UP AUSTIN PAGE OR 3, 1, 1.

I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE THAT THE QUESTIONS BEING ASKED MAY NOT BE EXACTLY HOW THEY WERE SUBMITTED.

THEY MAY HAVE BEEN SUMMARIZED IF A CANDIDATE LOSES CONNECTION.

AT ANY POINT DURING THE MEETING, WE WILL ALLOW THEM TO RECONNECT AND ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT THEY MAY HAVE MISSED AS TIME PERMITS.

SO LET'S GET STARTED.

LET'S WELCOME.

OUR FIRST CANDIDATE, THE FIRST CANDIDATE THIS EVENING IS JASPER BROWN.

WELCOME MR. BROWN.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING.

ARE YOU READY TO BEGIN WITH OUR FIRST QUESTION? ALL RIGHT.

QUESTION NUMBER ONE.

CAN YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTING THE POINTS THAT WOULD HELP YOU BE SUCCESSFUL AS THE NEXT EMS CHIEF AND WHY YOU WANT TO SERVE IN THIS POSITION LIKE TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROCESS TONIGHT? UM,

[00:05:01]

I KNOW IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET FEEDBACK TO THE CITY MANAGER AND THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER.

SO I APPRECIATE EVERYBODY'S TIME AND LISTENING AND PROVIDING THAT FEEDBACK.

MY NAME IS JASPER BROWN.

I'VE WORKED IN EMS FOR 28 YEARS NOW.

UM, 24 HERE BEING WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

MY FIRST FEW YEARS WERE IN THE TOWNS OF MACALLAN IN MISSION TEXAS.

I WORKED THE 9 1 1 SERVICE THERE ON THE STREETS PROVIDING FRONTLINE SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY.

MY WIFE AND I MOVED TO AUSTIN AND I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AT THAT TIME AS A TELECOMMUNICATION SPECIALIST, I WORKED MY WAY THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT IN ALL LEVELS AND RANKS OF THE ORGANIZATION AND TAKING ON MANY NEW OPPORTUNITIES THAT AROSE IN WERE PRESENTED TO ME.

I WAS PART OF THE TRANSITION THAT TOOK OUR COMMUNICATION CENTER OUT OF THE APD MAIN BUILDING OVER TO THE NOW COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY IN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS BUILDING.

I WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN IT APART, OUR NEW CAD SYSTEM, OUR COMPUTER-AIDED DISPATCH SYSTEM.

I WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING IN, IN BEING THE POINT OF CONTACT FOR OUR RE REGIONAL RADIO SYSTEM.

SO I'VE BEEN PART OF THESE PROCESSES AS THEY'VE OCCURRED IN BROUGHT FORWARD.

I'VE BEEN WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN 24 YEARS.

I'VE NOT BEEN IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS I'M DEDICATED TO THIS CITY AND TO THIS DEPARTMENT DURING THAT TIME PERIOD, I'VE, UM, BECOME EXPERIENCED, UM, IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE 1 43, WHICH GOVERNS OUR, UM, CONTRACT AND OUR, UM, MEDICS, UH, HOW THEY OPERATE UNDER A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE IN A SWORN EMPLOYEES, WHICH PROVIDES THEM PROTECTIONS AND RIGHTS, AND THEN AFFORDS THE ABILITY TO CREATE A CONTRACT BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND THE ASSOCIATION I'VE BEEN PART OF THE NEGOTIATIONS, UM, WAS ON THE LEAD NEGOTIATOR, OUR TEAM LAST FOUR OR YEARS AGO DURING THE LAST CONTRACT AND I'M INTEGRAL AND PART OF THE CONTRACT WE ARE NEGOTIATING NOW.

SO I'M ABSOLUTELY FAMILIAR WITH OUR, UH, ASSOCIATION, HOW THE THINGS WORK HERE IN TEXAS AND OUR CONTRACTS.

I'M ALSO FAMILIAR WITH OUR UNIQUE, UH, PARTNERSHIP WE HAVE WITH THE COUNTY.

UH, WE ARE A CITY DEPARTMENT, CITY OF AUSTIN AND EMS, BUT WE BRANDED OURSELF ALL THE WAY BACK IN 2000 AS AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, TO SHOW THAT WE ARE PART OF THIS WHOLE COMMUNITY.

UM, WE ARE, WE COVER 1100 SQUARE MILES, ABOUT 300 OF THEM BEING THE CITY OF BOSTON, THE REST BEING TRAVIS COUNTY.

THAT'S A PARTNERSHIP THAT'S UNIQUE.

UM, IT'S DONE THROUGH AN INTER LOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY AND THE CITY, AND I'VE WORKED WITH THE COUNTY MULTIPLE TIMES, NEGOTIATE AND, AND REDO THAT CONTRACT.

I PRESENTED AT SEVERAL BOARDS, COMMISSIONS ADVISORY GROUPS, UH, COMMISSIONER'S COURT CITY COUNCIL MET WITH CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS TO MOVE OUR ORGANIZATION FORWARD AND GET THE THINGS THAT THEY NEED AND ARE ACTUALLY NEEDED FOR OUR EXPERT CLINICIANS OUT THERE.

I'VE ALSO BEEN PART OF THE COMMUNITY, AS I SAID, I'VE LIVED IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN FOR THESE 24 YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN IN A PART OF THIS ORGANIZATION.

UM, I'VE, YOU KNOW, BEEN IN DOVE SPRINGS WHEN, AFTER THE FLOODS, MY WIFE AND I BOTH WORKED AT THE CITY AND WE WORKED IN THE DOVE SPRINGS REC CENTER, UM, TO HELP THE RESTORATION OF THAT AREA.

UM, I, YOU KNOW, DELIVERED PRESENTS THROUGH BLUE SANTA IN THE AREAS THAT ARE MOST AFFECTED, UH, AS FAR AS, UM, UM, COMMUNITIES OF NEED, UM, YOU KNOW, ALL THE WAY THROUGH GO VALLEY, THE RUNDBERG AREA.

UM, I'VE DONE PARK CLEANUP AND DESKS GARCIA PART.

I KNOW AUSTIN AND I AM AWARE OF THE ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN OCCURRING HERE.

UM, SO I'M WELL SUITED TO TAKE ON THE CHALLENGES THAT FACE THIS DEPARTMENT IN THE FUTURE.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER TWO.

HOW WOULD YOU ENGAGE YOUR STAFF TO MAKE ABOUT RESPONSE AND DEPLOYMENT MODELS AND WHAT METRICS WOULD YOU USE TO ENSURE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS? SO I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO ENGAGE THE WORKFORCE, UM, EVER SINCE I'VE BECOME CHIEF OF STAFF AND THAT'S BEEN THE LAST SIX YEARS NOW, FIVE AND A HALF THE LAST HALF YEAR AS BEING INTERIM CHIEF.

I HAVE DONE A TOWN HALL MEETINGS WHERE WE GO OUT AND WE TALK TO THE EMPLOYEES, WE, YOU KNOW, OPEN UP AND ASK THEM WHAT'S GOING ON? WHAT'S THE PROBLEMS? WHAT ARE THEIR HEARING? WHAT ARE THEIR, YOU KNOW, WHAT DO THEY KNOW? WHAT ARE THE, WHAT LIKE TO CHANGE? AND WE TAKE THAT FEEDBACK.

UM, SO WE ENGAGE THE WORKFORCE.

WE HAVE IN THE PAST THREE, UM, TOWN HALL MEETINGS.

SOME OF THOSE HAVE SLOWED DOWN, OBVIOUSLY WITH COVID AND THE ABILITY TO MEET IN PERSON AND IN LARGE GROUPS.

BUT WE'VE, THAT'S WHAT WE'VE DONE.

UM, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO ENGAGE THE WORKFORCE, UM, AND MANY OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PROCESS OF CHANGING ANYTHING AS FAR AS EITHER RESPONSE OR SYSTEM MODELS.

UM, AS FAR AS WHAT WE DO AND LOOK FOR IN THE FUTURE

[00:10:01]

IS WHAT DO WE WANT TO CHANGE? YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

UM, WE CAN RESPONSE TIMES WE'RE LOOKING AT THAT MIGHT BE ONE AREA.

IF IT'S A SYSTEM MODEL, IT'S ANOTHER AREA.

I'LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.

WE'RE CURRENTLY LOOKING AT CHANGING HOW WE HANDLE OUR LOWEST PARTY CALLS.

UM, AND WE'RE LOOKING TO SEE THE FUTURE OF MOVING LOW PRIORITY CALLS TO A TELEHEALTH OPTION, OR ARE, UM, PEOPLE CALLING NINE 11, BUT THEY DON'T REALLY NEED TO GO TO A HOSPITAL.

THEY DO NEED MEDICAL HELP.

SO IN ORDER TO DO THAT, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO CHANGE A FEW THINGS.

AND IN ORDER TO CHANGE THAT, THAT MIGHT UPSET HOW WE'VE DONE THINGS IN THE PAST FOR 20 SOMETHING YEARS.

AND THAT'S OKAY.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE TOTALITY OF THE CALL AND HOW IT WORKS.

SO IN RESPECTIVE, WE MIGHT TAKE A LITTLE LONGER THAN THE INITIAL TRIAGE IN OUR NINE 11 CENTER TO GET TO THE RIGHT PAUL SO THAT WE PLACE IT IN THE RIGHT, UM, UH, QUEUE FOR, FOR RESPONSE OR NO RESPONSE, MAYBE IN THE FUTURE.

UM, ALL OF THESE ARE VERY CAREFULLY THOUGHT OUT AND WE'D HAVE TO LOOK AT THESE AND SEE HOW, AND WHEN WE DO THIS AND NOT JUST LOOK AT ONE METRIC OF IT'S A RESPONSE TIME, AND WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT RESPONSE TIME, RESPONSE TIMES ARE IMPORTANT, BUT THEY'RE VERY, VERY, FOR VERY, VERY, VERY SMALL GROUP OF CALLS.

UM, WE HAVE FIRST RESPONDERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY THAT ARE EXCELLENT CLINICIANS.

ALSO, THEY PROVIDE GREAT FIRST RESPONSE AND IMMEDIATE CARE, UM, AS OUR ALS RESOURCES COME FROM A LITTLE FURTHER.

SO WE HAVE TO LOOK ACROSS THE BOARD AND SEE WHAT WE'RE CHANGING AND HOW WE MEASURE THAT.

AGAIN, IF IT'S TIME WE'RE LOOKING AT, WE HAVE METRICS THAT CAN LOOK AT THAT AND MEASURE THOSE TIME MARKERS.

BUT AGAIN, TIME IS NOT ALWAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

IF WE'RE LOOKING AT REDUCING CALL LOAD OR WORKLOAD, THEN THAT MIGHT BE, THAT'S AN EASIER ACCOUNT TO MEASURE AND HOW MANY CALLS A UNIT TAKES, HOW LONG THEY TAKE AND THOSE THINGS.

SO THERE'S SEVERAL DIFFERENT THINGS WE CAN LOOK AT, BUT AGAIN, IT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO CHANGE IN THE IMPACT.

WE'RE TRYING TO SEE ON THE END, EITHER ONE OF THOSE CAN CAUSE LIKE I SAID, MAYBE WE'LL REDUCE THE WORKLOAD OR OUR CLINICIANS IN THE FIELD, BUT IT MIGHT INCREASE OUR RESPONSE TIME BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE LONGER TO TRIAGE THE CALL BY THIRTY, FORTY FIVE SECONDS.

BUT THAT'S OKAY IF WE GET THE RIGHT RESOURCE TO THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, WE'VE HAD THAT MANTRA FOR SOME TIME HERE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS THAT RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT PERSON, RIGHT TIME.

BUT WE REALLY ONLY HAD AMBULANCES TO SEND TO OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, WITHIN THE LAST FEW YEARS WE HAVE COMMUNITY HEALTH PARAMEDICS.

NOW WE'RE PUTTING ON, UH, PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS, PAS THROUGH OUR CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICERS, ALL THE OFFICE.

SO WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF OTHER RESOURCES WE'VE ADDED TELE-HEALTH OPTIONS, UH, IN DIFFERENT THINGS TO DO SO THAT IT'S NOT JUST AN AMBULANCE GOING TO THE RESIDENTS.

UM, THIS IS HELPFUL FOR THE RESIDENTS BECAUSE IT CAN REDUCE THE COST OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FOR THEM.

THEY DON'T HAVE AN ER BILL, OR THEY DON'T NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL.

THEY DON'T HAVE A TRANSPORT BILL.

THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL.

AND MAYBE IT'S A LESSER BILL IF IT'S ONLY A TELE-HEALTH OPTION.

SO THESE ARE IMPORTANT IN HOW WE WOULD MEASURE THOSE, UM, IS, YOU KNOW, OVERALL WORKLOAD ON THE MEDICS OR, AND OR RESPONSE TIME.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER THREE, WHILE BEING BUDGET CONSCIOUS, HOW CAN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS CONTINUE TO BE A MEDICAL COMMUNITY LEADER IN PATIENT CENTERED EMERGENCY AND PUBLIC HEALTH? I THINK I WAS JUST SPEAKING TO THAT IN THE FACT THAT WE CAN'T ALWAYS JUST ADD AMBULANCES TO OUR SYSTEM.

WE HAVE TO LOOK TO OTHER OPTIONS AND SOME OF THOSE OPTIONS ARE WHAT WE STARTED EARLY ON IN THE PANDEMIC WAS A PARAMEDIC CONSULT LINE.

UM, THROUGH THE PYRAMID, THROUGH THE PANDEMIC CALLS, A LOT OF THE CALLS WERE HANDLED BY OUR PARAMEDIC CONSULT LINE.

THESE WERE CLINICIANS WHO ARE IN OUR COMMUNICATION CENTER AFTER THE CALL WAS TRIAGED, AND THAT CALL WAS MOVED OVER TO THEM AND THEY'D HELP THEM THROUGH AND NAVIGATE THE PROCESS OF DID THEY NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL OR WERE THEY JUST HAVING SOME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COVID? SO WE'VE ALREADY TIRED, STARTED TAKING STEPS INTO HOW WE CAN CHANGE AND TRANSFORM THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY.

AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, THIS MEANS TELEHEALTH OPTIONS, SINGLE MEDIC RESPONSE, WAIT TWO HOUSES, OUR COMMUNITY HEALTH PARAMEDICS, UM, YOU KNOW, GOING TO CALLS WHERE, UH, THERE'S A MENTAL HEALTH, UH, ISSUE OCCURRING AT THAT TIME INSTEAD OF SENDING AN AMBULANCE OR AN OFFICER, UM, THIS WAS ALL PART OF RE-IMAGINING PUBLIC SAFETY, UM, WHERE, YOU KNOW, WE STARTED TO ENTER INTO MORE OF THE CALLS OF MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS FOR INDIVIDUALS.

SO WE'VE ALREADY STARTED THAT PROCESS AND WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THAT PROCESS.

WE'RE ACTUALLY GOING TO EXPAND IT IN THE FUTURE.

THANK YOU ONTO QUESTION NUMBER FOUR,

[00:15:02]

HOW WILL YOU INCREASE EMPLOYEE MORALE IN ORDER TO RETAIN AND RECRUIT ENOUGH EMPLOYEES TO KEEP THE DEPARTMENT FUNCTIONING? THE MORALE IS, YOU KNOW, IS AN ISSUE IN AN ORGANIZATION AND IT, IT STEMS ALL FROM COMMUNICATION.

UM, SINCE BECOMING CHIEF, I'VE MADE IT MY NUMBER ONE GOAL TO BE VERY OPEN IN COMMUNICATION.

UM, I'VE DONE SHORT VIDEOS DESCRIBING WHAT'S HAPPENING DURING THE BUDGET PROCESS.

UM, EXACTLY.

YOU KNOW, RIGHT AFTER I LEFT THE BUDGET OF THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS, I WALKED RIGHT OUTSIDE AND DID A VIDEO WITH RPO STAFF TO SEND OUT TO OUR BOOKS TO TELL THEM EXACTLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING BECAUSE NOT ALL OF OUR MEDICS, UM, WATCH THE FEED FROM COUNCIL, EVEN THOUGH THEY CAN GO IN AND WATCH IT FROM THE PAST, BUT WE DID A VIDEO AND SEND IT OUT DIRECTLY TO THEM IN EMAIL, I'VE DONE SEVERAL VIDEOS.

I'VE DONE PODCASTS THAT TALK ABOUT SUBJECTS, UM, THAT, YOU KNOW, RUMORS WE'RE HEARING OR, OR ANYTHING ELSE LIKE THAT.

AND SO I'VE DONE VIDEOS, PODCASTS.

I SENT OUT EMAILS AND WE'VE DONE A TOWN HALL ALSO AGAIN, UH, THAT WAS LAST JUNE, UH, IN 2021.

SO I REALLY THINK THE MORALE ISSUES COME FROM A LACK OF KNOWING WHAT'S GOING ON.

THEY WILL TELL YOU, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE EXECUTIVE STAFF.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON FROM THE CHIEF.

UM, THEY'RE HEARING IT DIRECTLY FROM ME.

UM, AND THERE IT'S COMING DIRECTLY FROM ME, SO THEY KNOW EXACTLY IT'S NOT WATERED DOWN.

IT'S NOT CHANGED THROUGH SEVERAL DIFFERENT CHAINS OF COMMAND OR ANYTHING ELSE LIKE THAT.

THEY'LL HEAR DIRECTLY FROM ME, WHAT'S GOING ON, WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE TIME THAT I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE KEY WAYS TO BOOST MORALE IN THE DEPARTMENT.

WE'RE ALSO WORKING THROUGH A CONTRACT, UM, THAT HOPEFULLY WILL PROVIDE US ADDITIONAL TOOLS AND INCENTIVES TO BE ABLE TO WANT TO HIRE PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT AREAS AND TO RETAIN PEOPLE HERE IN AUSTIN.

SO EARLY WE HIRE ACROSS THE NATION AND WE BRING IN PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE NATION.

OUR LAST CADET CLASS HAD, UH, CADETS FROM CALIFORNIA WAS, UH, MINNESOTA AND NEW JERSEY.

SO WE'RE BRINGING IN PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND LOCALLY, BUT WE NEED TO DO MORE SO THAT WE CAN BOTH INCENTIVIZE PEOPLE TO COME HERE AND TO KEEP THEM HERE ONCE THEY'RE HERE.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER FIVE.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP? HOW WOULD THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT YOU'VE LED DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE? SO I THINK THE DIFFERENCE FOR ME BETWEEN MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP IS MANAGING IS, IS, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE HANDLING DIRECTLY DIRECTING A TASK YOU'RE MAYBE NOT TAKING IN ANY INPUT AT ALL.

UM, YOU'RE MANAGING A SITUATION OR PROBLEM.

UM, LEADERSHIP IS TAKING IN INPUT FROM ALL AVENUES.

UM, YOU KNOW, I, I PRIDE MYSELF ON LISTENING TO A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

UM, YOU KNOW, UH, DWIGHT D EISENHOWER SAID AS EITHER A GENERAL OR PRESIDENT, THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE BEST PEOPLE POSSIBLE TO MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL.

UH, AND THAT'S WHAT I HAVE DONE.

UM, I'M BRINGING IN PEOPLE FROM ALL AREAS OF THE ORGANIZATION INTO KEY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS THAT HAVE ABSOLUTELY VALUABLE INPUT HAVE BEEN ON THE STREETS OR HAVE BEEN IN MANAGEMENT OR BEEN IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT AREAS OF THIS ORGANIZATION FOR A LONG TIME.

THEY CAN REALLY BRING IN THAT VOICE THAT WE HAVEN'T HEARD IN A WHILE.

UM, SO AS PART OF THE LEADERSHIP IS LISTENING TO THE WORKFORCE, LISTENING TO YOUR NEAR OTHER EXECUTIVES, UM, AND BRINGING THAT INTO A FOCUSED VISION OF WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AND THEN MOVING THAT FORWARD, JOINTLY AND TOGETHER.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER SIX, BESIDES DISPATCHING AN AMBULANCE TO A NINE 11 CALL, WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES, DO YOU BELIEVE EMS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON IN ADDITION TO PREHOSPITAL EMERGENCY CARE? SO I THINK NOT EVERYTHING IS DISPATCHING AN AMBULANCE TO A RESIDENCE.

UM, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WE'VE ALREADY STARTED DOWN THE ROAD OF TELE-HEALTH OPTIONS, UH, FOR LOW PRIORITY CALLS THAT WE KNOW CAN BE BEST HANDLED AT HOME.

UM, WE'RE ALSO INTRODUCING THE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS OUT THERE THAT CAN GO INTO THE HOMES AND ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, WRITE A SCRIPT FOR SOMEBODY OR A PRESCRIPTION FOR SOMEBODY AND, UM, KEEP THEM IN THE HOME AND NOT PROVIDE ADDITIONAL COSTS FOR THEM, UM, OR, UH, ADDITIONAL WEIGHT INTO THE SYSTEM.

YOU KNOW, IT IS CRITICAL RIGHT NOW WITH OUR HOSPITALS AND COVID, UM, THEY'RE AT MAX CAPACITY.

AND SO WE'RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT

[00:20:01]

OF THE HOSPITALS, UM, YOU KNOW, THROUGH THESE DIFFERENT OPTIONS AND RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE.

SO I THINK THAT'S THE BEST THING WE CAN DO.

IT'S NOT, EVERYTHING DOES NOT NEED AN AMBULANCE ALL THE TIME.

UM, HISTORICALLY IN OUR DEPARTMENT, THAT'S WHAT WE'VE DONE AND WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT AND MOVE FORWARD INTO THE NEW DIRECTION.

AND WE'VE STARTED THAT PATH.

I REALLY WANT TO CONTINUE THAT PATH AND I THINK THAT'S THE DIRECTION WE NEED TO GO.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER SEVEN.

WHAT DOES EQUITY AND INCLUSION MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE IT INTO YOUR WORK AT EMS? SO, FIRST OF ALL, EQUITY INCLUSION TO ME IS, UM, YOU KNOW, IS NOT JUST EVERYBODY GETS UP, YOU KNOW, UH, THE SAME PLAYING FIELD THAT EVERYBODY HAS THE SAME CHANCE AT THE OPPORTUNITIES.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE JUST DID AN EQUITY OPTIMIZATION STUDY HERE IN AUSTIN, ON EMS IN, UH, OUR NINE 11 RESPONSE.

AND I'M PLEASED TO SAY THERE W THERE WASN'T A LOT OF, UM, DISCUSSION ABOUT EQUITY IN RESPONSE TO OUR PATIENTS, OUR CITIZENS.

UM, MOST OF THE, THE, UM, INFORMATION RECEIVED BACK WAS, YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO BE BETTER MORE, UM, THEY NEED TO OPTIMIZE OUR SERVICES SO THAT WE PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN IN, UM, IN OUR NOT PREHOSPITAL CARE, BUT OUR ABILITY TO GO OUT IN COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN, IN PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS THE RED ANGEL PROGRAM THAT DOES CPR.

WE HAVE CAR SEAT PROGRAMS, WE HAVE A FALL PREVENTION PROGRAM.

AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS SOME OF THE SIMILAR PROGRAMS, AND WE NEED TO COMBINE THOSE PROGRAMS TOGETHER SO THAT WE CAN MAXIMIZE THE WORKFORCE AND THE IMPACT WE HAVE ON THE COMMUNITY FOR RISK REDUCTION, BECAUSE, UH, WE CAN KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE NINE 11 SYSTEM IN THE HOSPITALS, THAT'S THE BENEFIT TO ALL.

SO HOW DO I INCORPORATE IT INTO THE DEPARTMENT IS, OR A LONG TIME EMS HAS BEEN, ARE DOMINANTLY, A MALE, YOU KNOW, UH, INDUSTRY, UM, AND WHITE MALE AT THAT FROM THE TOP DOWN.

UM, I'M PLEASED TO SAY RIGHT AFTER TAKING ON AS INTERIM CHIEF, I MOVED, UM, OUR FIRST FEMALE INTO THE CHIEF OF STAFF POSITION.

UM, I'VE MOVED PEOPLE INTO OTHER, UH, KEY POSITIONS.

I HAVE ANOTHER FEMALE THAT WAS JUST PROMOTED INTO THE DIVISION CHIEF.

UM, I I'D SAY WE'RE PRETTY INCLUSIVE.

I HAVE TWO MEMBERS OF THE LBG T PLUS COMMUNITY AND OUR EXECUTIVE STAFF.

THAT'S THE MOST INCLUSIVE WE'VE BEEN IN THE 24 YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN WITH THE CITY.

I DON'T MOVE THOSE PEOPLE INTO THESE POSITIONS BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE OR ARE CHECKING THE CHECK BOX.

I BRING THEM INTO THE ORGANIZATION, INTO LEADERSHIP POSITIONS FOR WHAT THEY BRING TO THE TABLE.

UM, THE IDEAS, UH, THEIR WORK HISTORY, THEIR BACKGROUND, THESE ARE KEY PEOPLE THAT HAVE, UH, NEEDED TO BE MOVED UP IN THE ORGANIZATION.

AND NOW IT'S STARTING TO LOOK MORE LIKE OUR, UH, CITIZENS THAT WE REPRESENT.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER EIGHT, WHAT ALTERNATIVE STAFFING MODELS HAVE YOU USED IN YOUR EXPERIENCE THAT MIGHT BE BROUGHT TO AUSTIN TO REDUCE EMPLOYEE FATIGUE AND MANDATORY OVERTIME WHILE KEEPING UNITS STAFFED? SO THERE ARE SOME STAFFING MODELS THAT WE COULD EMPLOY.

THE MAIN THING IS WHAT WE'RE CURRENTLY TRYING TO DO IS NOT UPSET THEIR CURRENT WORK-LIFE BALANCE THAT WE'VE CREATED.

UM, SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

UM, WE WERE ON A 42 HOUR WORK OR 48 HOUR WORK WEEK, EXCUSE ME.

AND WE MOVED TO A 42 HOUR WORK WEEK.

THE SCHEDULE WAS STILL NOT CONDUCIVE TO THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE.

AND WE MOVED TO AN, UH, A SCHEDULE THAT WAS A 24 ON 72 ALL OFF, OR THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR WORKFORCE.

I'D SAY PROBABLY 90% OF OUR MOM ON A SCHEDULE LIKE THAT.

UM, WE WANT TO BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO, TO CHANGE THAT IN ANY FORM OR FASHION BECAUSE WE'VE ALREADY CREATED THIS.

UM, SO RIGHT NOW WE'VE SEEN, UH, AN INCREASE IN OMICRON HITTING OUR WORKFORCE ALSO.

AND WE'VE HAD TO INCREASE OUR READINESS LEVEL FROM A LEVEL THREE TO A LEVEL TWO.

I'M PLEASED TO SAY RIGHT NOW WE'RE SEEM TO BE WORKING OUR WAY OUT OF THAT.

UH, WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE COMING BACK FROM THE, UM, WARRANTY, AND THEN WE HAVE GOING OUT.

AND I THINK IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS, WE'LL BE RELAXING OUR READINESS LEVEL BACK TO A LEVEL THREE, BUT AS FAR AS WHAT WE CAN DO IMMEDIATELY, YOU KNOW, WE COULD CHANGE

[00:25:01]

THE SCHEDULES.

UH, WE HAVE THE ABILITY IN OUR READINESS PLANS TO CHANGE IT TO A 24 48, UM, THAT WHICH WOULD COLLAPSE ONE OF THE SHIFTS NOW AND SPREAD THOSE INDIVIDUALS OVER THE OTHER THREE SHIFTS.

AND THAT WOULD MAKE AN IMPACT, BUT IT WOULD REALLY UPSET, UH, THEIR CURRENT SCHEDULE WORK-LIFE BALANCE, THEIR ARRANGEMENTS.

THEY HAVE WITH FAMILY TO TAKE CARE OF, YOU KNOW, THEIR CHILDREN AT HOME, UM, AND A LOT OF THINGS.

SO WE REALLY WANT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN NOT TO DO THAT.

UM, WE'RE ALSO GONNA LOOK AT THE INTRODUCING ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES IN THE COMING DAYS THAT WE CAN, FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO WORK AND NOT WHO, UH, ARE FORCED TO WORK.

SO WE'RE LOOKING AT DOING THAT IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER NINE, IN ADDITION TO TOPICS ALREADY DISCUSSED, DO YOU BELIEVE THERE ARE ANY OTHER CHALLENGES FACING AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS? IF SO, HOW DO YOU INTEND TO ADDRESS THEM? SO I THINK WE HAVE MANY CHALLENGES AND NOT JUST HERE AT AUSTIN, BUT IT'S BECOMING ACROSS THE NATION.

UM, IN HEALTHCARE IN GENERAL, THERE IS A, A EXTREME, UM, LACK OF, OF PEOPLE GOING INTO THAT PROFESSION.

UM, WE'RE HEARING ABOUT NURSING PROGRAMS SHUTTING DOWN AS PARAMEDIC PROGRAMS, SHUTTING DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF LACK OF, UH, STUDENTS COMING INTO THE DOOR.

SO IT'S GOING TO TRICKLE DOWN AND WE'RE GOING TO START TO SEE THAT WE ALSO SEE PARAMEDICS BEING TAKEN FROM EMS OR RECRUITED OUT OF THE EMS, UH, INTO THE HOSPITALS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THEY CAN'T GET NURSES.

SO, UH, WE DO LOOK AS IT'S GOING TO BE CHALLENGING TO, UH, HIRE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WE NEED TO STAY ON TOP OF THAT AND WE NEED TO HAVE THE BEST INCENTIVES POSSIBLE SO THAT WE CAN RECRUIT, RETAIN AND ATTRACT THOSE PEOPLE.

SO, UM, EXCUSE ME.

UM, W ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I TH YOU KNOW, I THINK WE NEED TO DO AS WE MOVE FORWARD IS REALLY LOOK AT THOSE CHALLENGES AND PROBABLY START TO CREATE ALSO, UH, HIRING DIRECTLY INTO OUR DEPARTMENT FROM OUTSIDE.

UM, AND I MEAN, NOT SOMEBODY WHO'S ALREADY CERTIFIED.

WE TRIED THIS PROGRAM PROBABLY ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, UM, AND IT WAS NOT A SUCCESS.

UM, BUT THAT WAS BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WERE SELF-SELECTED, UM, BY AN ORGANIZATION TO COME TO US, WE WORKED WITH A NONPROFIT, UH, THOSE PEOPLE HAD NO INTEREST IN EMS, UM, BUT THEY CAME AND THEY TRIED, AND WE DID THE BEST WE COULD, BUT THEY DID NOT WORK OUT.

WE NEED TO GO TO THE COMMUNITY.

I BELIEVE THERE'S, THERE'S PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY, A COMMUNITY OF COLORS AND OTHER AREAS THAT WANT TO COME TO EMS AND WOULD LIKE TO COME TO EMS, BUT NEED THE OPPORTUNITY.

THEY DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO GO OUT AND GET THAT INITIAL EMT CERTIFICATION AND TRAINING, UM, ON THEIR OWN.

AND THAT'S CURRENTLY THE POOL WE HIRE FROM, WE HIRE PEOPLE THAT ARE ALREADY CERTIFIED AND SELECTED THIS AS THEIR, UH, UM, VISION OR INTEREST IN SERVING.

SO WE NEED TO BRING IN PEOPLE FROM OUR OWN COMMUNITY HERE, LOCALLY, BEING ABLE TO TRAIN THEM, GIVE THEM THE EXPERIENCE, AND THEN FINALLY MOVE THEM INTO THE ORGANIZATION ONTO THE TRUCKS SO THAT WE CAN START TO FILL AND BROADEN OUR BASE.

AND THAT I THINK WOULD HELP ALSO LIKE DIVERSITY, UM, AT ALL RANKS, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE APPRECIATE YOU AND HAVE A GREAT REST OF YOUR DAY, LIKE YOUTUBE CITIZENS OF BOSTON.

THE SECOND CANDIDATE THIS EVENING IS ROBERT LUCK RITZ.

WELCOME MR. LUCK.

RICH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING.

ARE YOU READY TO BEGIN WITH OUR FIRST QUESTION? YES.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING ME TODAY.

ALL RIGHT.

QUESTION QUESTION.

NUMBER ONE.

CAN YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTING THE POINTS THAT WOULD HELP YOU BE SUCCESSFUL AS THE NEXT EMS CHIEF, AND WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO SERVE IN THIS POSITION? SURE.

SO THANK YOU AGAIN, AND I'M VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE.

WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT MY EXPERIENCE WAS.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY SETS ME APART FROM OTHERS, UM, IS, YOU KNOW, IT SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT CLICHE, BUT EMS IS MY LIFE.

IT'S SOMETHING THAT I'VE DEDICATED MY ENTIRE CAREER TO, BUT NOT IN THE WAY THAT MANY OTHERS IN WHICH THEY'VE, UH, LIVE SOLELY IN THE EMS WORLD.

UM, I THINK WHAT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT FOR ME IS THE DIVERSITY OF MY EXPERIENCE AND THE DIFFERENT INSECURITY.

THIS PATH THAT I'VE TAKEN THAT KEEPS BRINGING ME BACK TO THIS INDUSTRY.

I STARTED MY CAREER AS A TEENAGER.

I WAS, UH, WORKING IN A CADET SERVICE, VERY SIMILAR TO THE EXPLORER POST THAT AUSTIN, TRAVIS, THE INVEST DOES.

AND I REALLY GOT

[00:30:01]

THE FIRST TASTE OF EMS AND HOW MUCH I LOVED IT.

AND THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT FOR ME IS I THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT DO I WANT TO DO WHEN I GROW OLDER? WHAT DO I WANT TO DO AS AN ADULT? I REALIZED THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT I WANTED TO PURSUE.

I PROCEEDED TO ENGAGE IN COLLEGE.

I WENT TO A FOUR-YEAR EMS PROGRAM, WHICH WAS RELATIVELY RARE AT THE TIME.

UM, AND AFTER GRADUATING FROM THAT PROGRAM, I KNEW I WANTED TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION.

I HAD LEARNED ALREADY THAT THE EMS PROFESSIONAL WAS ONE THAT PROBABLY WAS VERY YOUNG AND MAYBE NOT AS WELL RESPECTED AS OTHER PROFESSIONS.

AND SO I DECIDED TO ATTEND LAW SCHOOL FROM THE SAME CHANNEL, WHICH I WORKED, UH, AT THE SAME TIME I HAD GONE TO UNDERGRADUATE.

SO I ATTENDED LAW SCHOOL DURING THE WEEK, AND I WORKED AS A PARAMEDIC ON THE WEEKENDS.

THAT WAS THE FIRST CHANCE THAT I HAD TO REALLY GET EXPOSURE TO TRUE DIVERSITY EQUITY AND INCLUSION.

AND IT BECAME A PASSION OF MINE THAT I'M SURE WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT TONIGHT.

AS I FINISHED THAT UP, I KIND OF AGAIN, REALIZED TO MYSELF, WELL, THIS BEING AN ATTORNEY, ALTHOUGH I AM A LICENSED ATTORNEY AND IT IS SOMETHING THAT I, THAT I ENJOY.

AND I THINK AS TO MY EXPERIENCE, IT WASN'T WHERE MY PASSION WAS.

AND SO I MADE THE DECISION TO STAY IN EMS. AND I MOVED ON TO A LITTLE BIT OF A MORE COSMOPOLITAN CITY THAN WHERE I HAD GONE TO SCHOOL.

AND I MOVED TO HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT, WHERE I BECAME A CLINICAL MANAGER FOR A SMALL MUNICIPAL EMS SERVICE.

I SPENT SOME TIME THERE AND GETTING A LOT OF EXPERIENCE, UH, IN TERMS OF UNDERSTANDING HOW TO LEAD INDIVIDUALS, HOW TO LEAD FROM THE FRONT, HOW TO WORK SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH PEERS AND KIND OF EARNED MY RIGHTS AS AN INDIVIDUAL, BUT IT WAS NOT TOO LONG AFTER THAT, THAT A MENTOR OF MINE SAID TO ME, ROB, IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE A LOOK SOMEWHERE ELSE AND ENCOURAGED ME TO APPLY TO WORK SOMEWHERE IN A MUCH LARGER COMMUNITY.

AND IT WAS WITH THAT, THAT I, UH, DEPARTED NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT, AND I MOVED TO JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY TO TAKE ON A ROLE, UM, AT A MUCH LARGER URBAN EMS SYSTEM SERVING THE CITY OF JERSEY CITY AND HUDSON COUNTY.

I SPENT SOME TIME DOWN THERE COMING IN FIRST AS A NIGHT SHIFT COMMANDER SO THAT I COULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND EXPERIENCE WHAT WAS GOING ON.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH THE FRONTLINE STAFF, PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT WORKED AT NIGHT AND WORKED IN ENVIRONMENTS THAT PERHAPS WERE NOT OFTEN SEEN BY THE KEY LEADERSHIP OF THE ORGANIZATION.

IT OPENED MY EYES UP TO THE TRUE DISPARITY, THE DIFFERENT, UM, INDIVIDUALS HAVE WHEN WORKING IN THESE ENVIRONMENTS, I WAS QUICKLY PROMOTED UP WITHIN A YEAR TO DEPUTY CHIEF OF OPERATIONS.

AND IT WAS NOT LONG AFTER THAT, THAT I HAD A LIFE CHANGING MOMENT FOR MYSELF.

I HAD A MENTOR AND THE CEO OF THE HOSPITAL WHO HAD FOUND ME, UH, THROUGH SOME PUBLIC SPEAKING THAT I HAD DONE ON BEHALF OF OUR EMS DEPARTMENT.

AND HE SOUGHT ME OUT AND ASKED ME IF I'D BE INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH HIM ON PUBLIC POLICY, GIVING MY LOOP, GIVEN MY LEGAL BACKGROUND.

AND WITH THAT, I TAKE, WHAT I SAY WAS MY FIRST SABBATICAL FROM EMS. SINCE I SPENT A YEAR WORKING SIDE BY SIDE BY SIDE, WITH THAT CEO FOCUSING PRIMARILY ON PUBLIC POLICY, BUT IT WAS REALLY AWESOME, AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO RAISE AWARENESS OF EMS AND THE HEALTH SYSTEM AND SHARE WITH THEM WHAT WAS GOING ON AND WHAT THE EXPERIENCES WERE AND THE VALUE OF EMS TO HEALTHCARE.

IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I DON'T THINK ANYONE HAD TRULY UNDERSTOOD BEFORE.

AND FROM A CULTURE STANDPOINT, IT ALSO OPENED MY EYES TO SOMETHING I NEVER EXPERIENCED LIVING IN EMS AND GROWING UP IN EMS. I KNEW WHAT I KNEW.

I KNEW THE BUBBLE THAT I LIVED IN, AND I HAD CERTAIN THOUGHTS ABOUT MY INDUSTRY, BUT I MET OTHERS IN HEALTHCARE.

AND I REALIZED THAT EVERYONE PUTS THEIR PANTS ON THE SAME WAY THAT I DO.

AND THEN WHETHER THEY'RE MY PEERS, MY SUBORDINATES, OR THE FOLKS THAT I WORK FOR, WE'RE ALL JUST HUMANS.

AND IF WE TREAT ONE ANOTHER LIKE THAT, BUT WE CAN REALLY MOVE OUR ORGANIZATION FORWARD.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I'VE CONTINUED TO TAKE FORWARD WITH ME AND EVERY ORGANIZATION THAT I'VE WORKED WITH TO BE ABLE TO HAVE BE COMFORTABLE HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS, WHETHER IT'S A BRAND NEW FRONTLINE, 18 YEAR OLD EMT OR A LONGSTANDING POLITICIAN, THAT'S WORKED IN THE COMMUNITY FOR A LONG TIME.

AFTER A YEAR IN THAT ROLE, I TOOK ON THE ROLE OF CHIEF OF EMS FOR JERSEY CITY, FOR JERSEY CITY MEDICAL CENTER, A HOSPITAL-BASED EMS SYSTEM.

WE PROVIDED THE NINE 11 SERVICES FOR ALL OF JERSEY CITY AND HUDSON COUNTY, AND SOMETHING ABOUT A HUNDRED THOUSAND CALLS A YEAR AND PROVIDING PRIMARY MEDICAL DISPATCH SERVICES THROUGH OUR, UH, MEDICAL DISPATCH CENTER ANSWERING ABOUT 100,009 11 CALLS A YEAR, FIVE YEARS INTO THAT, I HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE, A LOT OF DIFFERENT LARGE-SCALE INCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED.

I WORKED THROUGH WORK AT THE HOSPITAL, INCREASED THE PROFILE OF BMS, BECAME A PUBLIC FACE, AND REALLY TRIED TO RAISE OUR PRESENCE IN THE MEDIA MARKET.

BUT AFTER FIVE YEARS, I WAS AGAIN APPROACHED BY THAT SAME CEO WHO SUGGESTED THAT I TAKE A LOOK AT A DIFFERENT POSITION THAT PERHAPS I'D BE INTERESTED IN APPLYING AS A VICE PRESIDENT OF HOSPITAL OPERATIONS FOR THE HOSPITAL.

SO VERY LARGE POSITION.

IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I WAS EXCITED ABOUT BEING ABLE TO OVERSEE ALL FACETS OF THE BACK END OF THE HOSPITAL, INCLUDING LABORATORY AND PHARMACY AND ENGINEERING.

AND I APPLIED FOR THAT POSITION AND WAS AWARDED IT.

AND IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I ABSOLUTELY LOVED AND I ENJOYED, I STILL HAD SOME ROLES IN EMS, BUT I BECAME MORE AND MORE DISTANT FROM THE FRONTLINE PROVIDERS AS WE MADE OUR WAY THROUGH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN NEW YORK.

I LEARNED A LOT, BUT ULTIMATELY EMS CALLED ME BACK ONCE AGAIN.

AND THAT'S HOW I ENDED UP HERE IN MY CURRENT ROLE IN NEW ENGLAND, AS THE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF A LARGE MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, SERVING MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE AND CONNECTICUT, LET'S BE IN A NUTSHELL, I LOVE AUSTIN, TRAVIS EMS. IT'S SOMETHING AS SOMEONE WHO'S BEEN IN THIS INDUSTRY FOR A LONG TIME, EVERYONE KNOWS THE SYSTEM.

WE CALL

[00:35:01]

IT THE UNICORN OF EMS. IT'S A SYSTEM THAT IS WELL SUPPORTED BY THE COMMUNITY THAT BELIEVES IN COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND BELIEVES IN SUPPORTING THEIR FRONTLINE PROVIDERS.

AND I WOULD BE HONORED TO BE A PART OF THAT SYSTEM.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER TWO.

HOW WOULD YOU ENGAGE YOUR STAFF TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT RESPONSE AND DEPLOYMENT MODELS AND WHAT METRICS WOULD YOU USE TO ENSURE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS? GREAT, THANK YOU.

I THINK THE, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING, UH, IN TERMS OF MODELING OUT TO PLACEMENT OR ANYTHING IS YOUR STAFF.

AND I'M SURE WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT THAT IN A SECOND, BUT THE VERY FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DO, BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR ORGANIZATION, SO THAT YOU CAN HEAR THE FEEDBACK, THE DECISIONS OF LEADERSHIP AND HOW THEY IMPACT FRONTLINE PROVIDERS FROM A DEPLOYMENT MODELING.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE DECISIONS THAT YOU MAKE.

HOW DO THEY AFFECT THAT THE FRONTLINE PROVIDERS, SO TO GATHER INPUT, TO FIGURE OUT IF I PLACE AN AMBULANCE HERE, OR I PLACE A STATION THERE, WHAT'S GOING TO BE THE IMPACT ON MY PROVIDERS FROM A METRIC STANDPOINT.

I THINK WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS TO UNDERSTAND HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE COMMUNITY, BUT ALSO HOW DOES IT INFECT AFFECT MY EMPLOYEES? SO I WANT TO KNOW FROM A UTILIZATION STANDPOINT, AM I BEING EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE WITH, WITH THE CITIZENS' MONEY WHEN IT COMES TO DEPLOYING THESE AMBULANCES, BUT AM I ALSO BALANCING THAT IN A WAY THAT MAKES SURE THAT MY STAFF ARE BEING RESILIENT, THAT THEY HAVE THE REST PERIODS THAT THEY NEED IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL? HOW AM I LOOKING AT THE WAY THAT I, THAT I DEPLOY MY AMBULANCES? IS IT STATIC OR DO I LOOK AT A VARIABLE MODEL THAT ALLOWS ME TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF AMBULANCES IS BASED ON TIME OF DAY AND DAVE WEEK.

IT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE LOOKED VERY HARD AT IN SOME OF MY PREVIOUS POSITIONS AND UNDERSTANDING THAT UNLIKE SOME OTHER SERVICES, WE'RE NOT TREATING BUILDINGS, WE'RE TREATING PEOPLE AND PEOPLE MOVE ALL DAY LONG.

AND IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW WHERE THOSE PEOPLE ARE AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT.

AND WE SHIFT OUR DEMAND AND WE SHIFT OUR RESOURCES TO BETTER SERVE THOSE INDIVIDUALS.

THE FOLLOWING UP ON THAT, ONCE YOU'VE HAD THOSE SENSORS AND YOU'RE USING THAT TECHNOLOGY AND YOU HAVE TECHNOLOGY, THAT'S TELLING YOU, YOU NEED THIS MANY AMBULANCES AND THIS LOCATION AT THIS TIME.

WELL, HOW DO I DEPLOY THAT IN A WAY THAT'S EFFECTIVE FOR MY STAFF? HOW DO I USE THE EXISTING STATIONS AND RESOURCES IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT IT'S EFFECTIVE? HOW DO I BUILD OUT SCHEDULES THAT WORK FOR MY STAFF AND WORK FOR THE TEAM THAT'S OUT THERE? SO GETTING THEIR ENGAGEMENT IN TERMS OF HOW, WHAT TYPE OF HOURS WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK IN TERMS OF SCHEDULING? WHAT'S MOST EFFICIENT FOR YOU? IF IT'S A BUSY STATION OR IT'S A BUSY UNIT, HOW DO I SHIFT MY SCHEDULING TO MAKE SURE YOU GET OUT OF IT? REST PERIODS.

IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF TRIAL AND ERROR TOO.

YOU USE THE TECHNOLOGY, YOU GET THE FEEDBACK FROM STAFF, BUT ALL IN ALL YOU, AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO CHANGE.

IF YOU'RE WILLING TO SAY I TRIED THAT AND IT JUST DIDN'T WORK.

AND NOW I'M GOING TO OWN THAT.

AND I'M GOING TO SAY, I'M GOING TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

AND HAVING THAT CONTINUOUS DIALOGUE BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR FRONTLINE PROVIDERS TO SAY IS WHAT I'M DOING EFFECTIVE FOR YOU AND IS MY, WHAT I'M DOING EFFECTIVE FOR THE COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU.

BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO QUESTION NUMBER THREE, I WANT TO ASK YOU IF YOU COULD SPEAK JUST A LITTLE SLOWLY, UH, OUR SPANISH TRANSLATORS NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO GET ALL OF YOUR WORDS, UH, COMMUNICATED PROPERLY.

SO IF YOU SLOW DOWN JUST A TAB FOR ME, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

OKAY.

ABSOLUTELY.

NO PROBLEM.

ALL RIGHT.

QUESTION NUMBER THREE, WHILE BEING BUDGET CONSCIOUS, HOW CAN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS CONTINUE TO BE A MEDICAL COMMUNITY LEADER IN PATIENT CENTERED EMERGENCY AND PUBLIC HEALTH? RIGHT.

SO I THINK IN ORDER FOR ANY EMS SYSTEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL, MOVING FORWARD, WE HAVE TO START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX, WE HAVE TO START THINKING, HOW CAN WE BE CREATIVE ABOUT HOW WE DEPLOY OUR RESOURCES IN A WAY THAT'S EFFECTIVE.

ON A PREVIOUS QUESTION, YOU ASKED ABOUT METRICS IN TERMS OF RESPONSE PLANS.

WELL, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT AMBULANCE, IT'S EITHER.

IT'S ALSO ABOUT HOW DO WE DEPLOY RESOURCES THAT MIGHT NOT BE AMBULANCES TO GET OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY TO PROVIDE BETTER POPULATION HEALTH.

I KNOW THAT ALSO TRAVIS HAS AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNITY COMMUNITY TO HELP A PRACTITIONER PROGRAM.

YOU HAVE A LOT OF INTEGRATION WITH YOUR, OBVIOUSLY YOUR CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, AND HOW DO WE ELEVATE THOSE PROGRAMS TO SAY, HOW DO WE MAKE THAT A NEW MODEL FOR US IN TERMS OF NOT ONLY TAKING PEOPLE TO THE HOSPITAL, BUT KEEPING PEOPLE OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AND HOW DO WE PARTNER WITH CARRIERS AND HEALTH SYSTEMS IN ORDER TO MAKE THAT EFFECTIVE? ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I MENTIONED IS MY STRENGTH IS MY HEALTHCARE BACKGROUND.

I'VE WORKED IN A HOSPITAL FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND I WAS A HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE.

SO BEING ABLE TO SPEAK THAT LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATE WITH THEM TO SAY, OKAY, HOW CAN WE PARTNER TOGETHER FINANCIALLY IN ORDER TO MEET YOUR METRICS? BECAUSE EVERY HOSPITAL HAS CERTAIN METRICS FROM READMISSIONS AND OTHER THINGS THAT THEY NEED TO MEET.

AND EMS IS THE GATEWAY TO THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

SO BY PARTNERING WITH THEM, WE CAN BE COST-EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT TO CHANGE THE WAY THAT WE DO BUSINESS AND FOCUS ON THE POPULATION HEALTH FOCUSED ON THE CARE IN THE COMMUNITIES, AS WELL AS PARTNERING WITH OTHER ENTITIES LIKE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES.

BECAUSE SO MANY OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS CLOG UP OUR ERS.

WHEN WE ADJUST SENT THE RIGHT RESOURCE TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, WE PROBABLY WOULDN'T BE HAVING THE SAME ISSUES.

SO WE NEED TO LOOK AT ALL OF THOSE TYPES OF THINGS AND SAY, HOW CAN WE PARTNER WITH OTHER ENTITIES THAT DO THINGS THAT ARE SIMILAR, BUT A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT

[00:40:01]

THAN US, AND COME UP WITH A COORDINATED APPROACH TO IMPROVE THE OVERALL HEALTH CARE IN THE COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER FOUR.

HOW WILL YOU, WILL YOU INCREASE EMPLOYEE MORALE IN ORDER TO RETAIN AND RECRUIT ENOUGH EMPLOYEES TO KEEP THE DEPARTMENT FUNCTIONING? THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

UM, ONE OF MY ROLES, I ALSO SERVE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS.

AND AS THE CHAIR OF THE EMS WORKFORCE COMMITTEE, I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS ABOUT, UH, EMS AND THE EMS WORKFORCE SHORTAGE THAT WE'RE HAVING.

IT'S NO SECRET TO ANYONE IN THIS INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW THAT WE'RE AT A STAFFING CRISIS.

IT'S NOT JUST A THING IN AUSTIN, AND IT'S NOT JUST A THING IN NEW ENGLAND.

IT'S ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.

WE CAN'T GET ENOUGH INDIVIDUALS TO STAFF AMBULANCES.

AND SO HOW DO WE CHANGE THAT? WELL, AT THE END OF THE DAY, I THINK THAT THE ROOT CAUSES COMES DOWN TO CULTURE.

IT COMES DOWN TO A WORKPLACE AND A WORK ENVIRONMENT AND TO NO FAULT OF ANYONE AGENCY, BUT THE JOB HAS CHANGED A LOT.

THE JOB IS NOT THE SAME THAT IT WAS WHEN I GOT IN THIS INDUSTRY 20 PLUS YEARS AGO, THE JOB IS ONE NOW, WHICH IS MUCH MORE GRUELING, MUCH MORE, UNDER MUCH MORE SCRUTINY, UH, REQUIRES MUCH MORE EDUCATION.

AND I CAN SEE WHY INDIVIDUALS WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, MAYBE THIS ISN'T RIGHT FOR ME, MAYBE I SHOULD GO INTO A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM OR A HOSPITAL OR DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW IT IS THAT WE WERE ABLE TO CHANGE THAT.

AND I THINK THAT THE ROOT IS WE NEED TO CHANGE THE CULTURE.

WE NEED TO MAKE IT A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO COME TO WORK, WHERE THEY ENJOY IT.

I WORKED FOR AN EMS SYSTEM A FEW YEARS.

A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, WE WEREN'T THE HIGHEST PAID SERVICE IN THE COUNTY, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE HAD A WAITING LIST BECAUSE PEOPLE WANTED TO COME TO WORK THERE BECAUSE THEY FELT LIKE WE INVESTED IN OUR EMPLOYEES.

WE INVESTED IN EDUCATION, WE INVEST IN GOOD EQUIPMENT AND WE MADE THEM FEEL VALUED.

AND I THINK THAT THE EMS SYSTEMS THAT ARE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL THROUGH THE STAFFING SHORTAGE, THERE'S GOING TO BE ONE THAT DOES THAT.

THE, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? YOU HAVE TO ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES.

AS I SAID, IT'S FULL TRANSPARENCY.

IT'S LETTING THEM BECOME A PART OF THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS IS THROWING OUT SOME OF THE PARAMILITARY STYLE THINGS THAT WE'VE THOUGHT IN THE PAST.

THIS IS HOW I'VE DONE IT, BECAUSE I SAY SO AND GETTING THEM THEIR BUY-IN TO SAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE ON THE FRONT LINES? HOW CAN WE DO THIS BETTER? AND HOW CAN I DO THIS IN A WAY THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD COMING TO WORK EVERY DAY? BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY WAY THEY'RE GOING TO STAY TO WORK HERE.

THERE ARE BETTER PAYING JOBS.

THERE ARE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE OF EMS. WE'RE ONLY GOING TO CONTINUE TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN OUR STAFF IF WE KEEP THEM HAPPY AND HEALTHY.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER FIVE.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP? HOW WOULD THE ORGANIZATIONS YOU'VE LED DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE? UH, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I THINK, UM, IN TERMS OF TALKING ABOUT MANAGEMENT VERSUS LEADERSHIP, THEY'RE BOTH IMPORTANT, RIGHT? IN, IN A LOT OF WAYS WE TALK ABOUT, UM, PEOPLE GET TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT CLICHES OR WHATNOT, AND IT'S LEADERSHIP, NOT MANAGEMENT.

IT'S BOTH.

THERE HAS TO BE AN ELEMENT OF MANAGEMENT.

WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT OUR, WHAT OUR KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ARE.

WE HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO THE CITY.

WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PRESENT AND TALK TO INDIVIDUALS ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON.

LEADERSHIP ON THE OTHER HAND IS REALLY WHAT SETS THE TONE AND THE CULTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION.

LEADERSHIP IS HOW IT IS THAT YOU TREAT FOLKS.

THINK IF YOU ASKED INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE WORKED WITH ME, IS THAT MY I'M A SERVANT LEADER.

I TRULY BELIEVE IN, UM, WALKING INTO A ROOM AND SAYING, WHAT DO YOU NEED AS A FRONTLINE PROVIDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL? I'M NOT ALWAYS THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM.

AND THAT'S WHAT I LEARNED WHEN I WALKED INTO THAT EXECUTIVE SUITE IN THE HOSPITAL MANY YEARS AGO, IS THAT WE'RE ALL THE SAME.

AND JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A TITLE, DOESN'T MEAN I CAN DO IT BETTER, OR KNOW THE ANSWER.

THE ONLY WAY WE'RE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL IS IF WE TAKE THOSE FRONTLINE PROVIDERS AND SAY, HOW DO WE DO, HOW DO I, HOW CAN I DO IT TO HELP YOU? I THINK PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME ALSO, SORRY, I'LL SLOW DOWN A LITTLE BIT HERE.

I THINK PEOPLE WOULD ALSO DESCRIBE ME AS A MENTOR.

UH, I SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH FRONTLINE INDIVIDUALS.

WHEN I SEE POTENTIAL IN FOLKS, I WON'T LET THEM FAIL.

I WANT TO GO OUT AND I WANT TO FIND THEM.

WHAT'S MAKING YOU TICK AND WHAT'S MAKING YOU SO CHALLENGED AND WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU MIGHT BE FACING.

BUT IF YOU INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME OVER THE YEARS, THAT REALLY A LOT OF FOLKS IN A LOT OF OTHER LEADERS SAID, OH, THEY'RE, THEY'RE A LOST CAUSE.

AND I'VE BEEN SO PROUD TO SEE SOME OF THEM BECOME SUCCESSFUL.

EMS CHIEFS.

I'VE SEEN SOME OF THEM BECOME ATTORNEYS.

I'VE SEEN SOME OF THEM GO ON FROM MULTIPLE GRADUATE DEGREES.

AND I REALLY THINK THAT'S BECAUSE I'M WILLING TO SPEND THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND THEM AS PEOPLE, NOT A LARGE ORGANIZATION.

CAN THAT BE CHALLENGING? SURE.

CAN.

I'M NOT GOING TO KNOW EVERY SINGLE PERSON DOWN TO IT, ALTHOUGH I'LL TRY, I'LL TRY TO MEET EVERYONE, BUT WE NEED TO PUSH THAT SORT OF BELIEF DOWN.

AND I WON'T TOLERATE FOLKS THAT WORK FOR ME IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE THAT DON'T TREAT EMPLOYEES WELL, AND DON'T WANT TO HEAR OUT WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY, BECAUSE WE WON'T BE SUCCESSFUL AS AN ORGANIZATION.

IF WE BURY OUR HEAD IN THE SAND, NOT IN THE CRISIS WE'RE IN RIGHT NOW.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER SIX, BESIDES

[00:45:01]

DISPATCHING AN AMBULANCE TO A 9 1, 1 CALL.

WHAT OTHER PRIORITIES DO YOU BELIEVE EMS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON IN ADDITION TO PREHOSPITAL EMERGENCY CARE? THAT'S GREAT QUESTION.

UM, I THINK I ALLUDED TO IT A LITTLE BIT EARLIER.

WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN PARTNER WITH HOSPITALS AND HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS. UM, I, I SAW AN INTERESTING DIAGRAM, NOT THAT LONG AGO THAT SAID EMS HAS A TRIANGLE, RIGHT? IT'S GOT THREE PARTS.

IT'S ONE PART PUBLIC SAFETY.

IT'S ONE PART HEALTHCARE AND IS ONE PART PUBLIC HEALTH.

AND WE NEED TO EMBRACE THAT.

WE NEED TO BE OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY TRYING TO ADDRESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE THINGS IN ORDER TO HELP THE OVERALL WELLNESS IN THE COMMUNITY.

ONE OF THE THINGS I DID IN MY PAST WAS TAKE SOME OF THE DATA THAT WE COLLECTED AS AN ORGANIZATION, WHICH WAS COPIOUS AMOUNTS AND SHARED DE-IDENTIFY DATA WITH DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS TO SAY, HOW CAN WE IDENTIFY THE PROBLEMS? SO CAN I PARTNER WITH THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR THE STATE POLICE TO SAY, HERE'S THE PATH HERE ARE THE LINES ON THIS MAP OF WHERE I'M SEEING THE MOST OVERDOSES, IS THAT A SIGN OF WHERE THE DRUG TRAFFIC THINGS OCCURRING? HOW CAN I PARTNER WITH THE CITY HOUSING ENTITY TO SAY, OKAY, WHERE ARE THE ABANDONED BUILDINGS? AND HOW DO WE PARTNER WITH YOU TO SAY, THIS IS WHERE WE'RE SEEING SOME OF THESE, UM, TO GIVING IT MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUES.

THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT I THINK WE CAN DO TO BE MORE THAN JUST A REPOSITORY OF 9 1, 1 CALLS.

WE CAN BE A REPOSITORY OF INFORMATION AND SHARE THAT WITH OUR PARTNERS SO THAT WE CAN ADDRESS THINGS FROM A HOLISTIC APPROACH.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH IS A HUGE ISSUE IN THIS COUNTRY.

WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE BETTER AT TREATING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PATIENTS.

AND UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVEN'T DONE A GOOD JOB.

EMS IS SO WELL POSITIONED RIGHT NOW.

WE INTERACT WITH THESE INDIVIDUALS ON A DAILY BASIS.

WE INTERACT WITH THE HOMELESS.

WE INTERACT WITH THESE PEOPLE, AND YET WE JUST PUT THEM THROUGH THIS VICIOUS CYCLE OF THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

WE NEED TO PARTNER WITH THESE ENTITIES TO SAY, OKAY, LET'S STEP IN HERE AND GET THEM THE HELP THAT THEY NEED.

I SPENT A LOT OF TIME PARTNERING WITH OUR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND OUR HOSPITAL AND SAYING, HOW CAN WE BE CREATIVE? HOW CAN WE DO MENTAL HEALTH? HOW CAN WE DO PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID ON SOME OF THESE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE OUT THERE? HOW CAN WE GET THESE PEOPLE INTO A SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, START CODE, UH, DIFFERENT CODES IN THE HOSPITAL TO IDENTIFY FOLKS THAT NEED INTERVENTION.

THAT'S WHAT WE CAN DO TO BE DIFFERENT.

IT'S NOT ABOUT THE 9 1, 1 CALLS.

IT MAY BE OUR CORE BUSINESS AND WE HAVE TO KEEP DOING THAT, BUT LET'S BE LIKE THE FIRE SERVICE FROM FIRE PREVENTION.

LET'S TRY TO PREVENT THE ILLNESSES.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER SEVEN.

WHAT DOES EQUITY AND INCLUSION MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE IT INTO YOUR WORK AT AMS? GREAT, THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION.

I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION, UM, IT'S ALL TOO OFTEN THAT YOU HEAR FOLKS AND THEY'LL SAY, OH, WE NEED MORE DIVERSITY IN OUR ORGANIZATION.

SO WE HAVE X NUMBER OF THIS TYPE OF PERSON AND Y NUMBER OF THIS TYPE OF PERSON AND THOSE NUMBERS DON'T MATCH UP.

SO LET'S GO HIRE MORE MINORITIES.

THAT'S NOT REALLY HOW WE FOCUS ON EQUITY AND INCLUSION.

EQUITY AND INCLUSION IS ABOUT HOW DO WE EMPOWER PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY TO RAISE THEM TO A LEVEL SO THAT THEY CAN BE SUCCESSFUL.

I DON'T WANT TO STICK AN UNQUALIFIED PERSON INTO A POSITION BECAUSE THEY CHECK A BOX.

I WANT TO GIVE THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED SO THAT THEY CAN BE SUCCESSFUL.

IN THAT ROLE.

WE DID THIS IN MY PREVIOUS ROLE, LIKE REALLY REACHING OUT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES, DRIVING COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND GETTING INDIVIDUALS THAT REPRESENTED THE COMMUNITY TO MEET WITH THEM AND FIND OUT WHAT ARE THE NEEDS THAT YOU HAVE.

HOW COULD EMS HELP YOU? WE ALSO DID SOME WORK AROUND UNEMPLOYMENT TRADING, BUT IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SAYING I'M GOING TO GO TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE AND SAY ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO BE AN EMT COME IN AND I'LL TRAIN YOU.

AND WE'LL HIRE YOU AS AN EMT.

WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO ENTRY? SO DO WE NEED TO WORK WITH YOU ON GETTING A DRIVER'S LICENSE AND GIVING YOU SOME LIFE SKILLS IN ORDER TO MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL? I HAD A, UH, A LIFE-CHANGING EVENT A WHILE AGO, I WAS WORKING WITH AN ORGANIZATION AND I WAS LOOKING AT THE JOB INTERVIEW AND I WAS ON AN INTERVIEW COMMITTEE.

AND IT SAID, IF YOU WEAR A POLO SHIRT, YOU'RE GOING TO ONE, IF YOU WEAR A SHIRT, A COLLARED SHIRT, YOU GET A TWO.

IF YOU ARE A CERTAIN TIE, YOU GET A THREE.

AND IF YOU WEAR A SUIT, YOU GET A FOUR.

AND I SAID TO THE INDIVIDUAL I WAS WORKING WITH, I SAID, WELL, HOW, HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE? WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH BEING AN EMT OR ANY EMPTY STUDENT, THE INDIVIDUALS THAT CAN AFFORD TO GO GET A SUIT AND BRING THEM IN? ARE THEY ANY DIFFERENT THAN SOMEONE WHO MAYBE IS JUST TRYING TO GET BY? AND THEY DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THOSE RESOURCES? LET'S FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN REACH OUT TO THESE COMMUNITIES, EMPOWER THEM.

ALSO, IT WAS INVOLVED IN A CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL IN OUR COMMUNITY WHERE WE COULD TRAIN STUDENTS AS EMT SO THAT THEY WERE SET UP WITH JOB SKILLS, RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL.

THESE ARE THE CREATIVE THINGS WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO EQUITY AND INCLUSION, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT DIVERSITY, BUT WE'RE ACTUALLY TRYING TO EMPOWER THE COMMUNITY AND GET THEM TO WHERE THEY NEED TO BE AND GOOD CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS OF SOCIETY.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER EIGHT, WHAT ALTERNATIVE STAFFING MODELS HAVE YOU USED IN YOUR EXPERIENCE THAT MIGHT BE BROUGHT TO AUSTIN TO REDUCE EMPLOYEE FATIGUE

[00:50:01]

AND MANDATORY OVERTIME WHILE KEEPING UNITS STAFFED? SO I THINK, UM, FROM A STAFFING PERSPECTIVE, WE, WE REALLY NEED TO START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX AND SAYING, ARE WE SENDING THE RIGHT RESOURCES TO THE RIGHT PATIENTS? UM, I CAME FROM A SYSTEM WHERE WE UTILIZED DIFFERENT, UH, AMBULANCES WITH PARAMEDICS AND SUMS WITH MTS, AND WE WERE ABLE TO DEPLOY THEM AND LOOKING AT THE CALLS THAT CAME IN TO SAY, DO WE NEED A PARAMEDIC ON EVERY CALL? THESE ARE HIGHLY TRAINED INDIVIDUALS.

WE CONTINUE TO RAISE THE BAR WHERE YOU CONTINUE TO RAISE THE EDUCATION STANDARDS.

AND PERHAPS THERE'S OTHER THINGS THAT WE COULD DO LOOKED VERY CLOSELY AT THE WAY WE DISPATCH AMBULANCES AND SAYING, LET'S, LET'S EXAMINE THE DATA AND SAY, DO WE NEED ALL THE RESOURCES THAT WE SEND TO THIS CALL BASED ON OUTCOMES? CAN I LOOK AT ALL OF MY DISPATCH CODES, RIGHT? WHEN YOU CALL 9 1 1, AND THEY SAY, I'M HAVING CHEST PAIN, THIS, THIS, THIS, AND THIS.

AND WE ASSIGN IT A CODE.

I CAN PAIR THAT UP WITH MY OUTCOMES DATA ON MY, MY ELECTRONIC CHARTING RECORD, MY MEDICAL RECORDS AND SAY, DID WE NEED TO SEND ALL THESE RESOURCES HERE? SO IF WE LOVE A LOAD THAT, AND WE RE IDENTIFY AND WE FIND EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH TO HOW IT IS, WE SEND THE RIGHT RESOURCES.

WE CAN REDEPLOY OUR ASSETS IN A WAY THAT WE'RE USING THEM MORE APPROPRIATELY, AND WE'RE NOT UTILIZING RESOURCES THAT AREN'T NEEDED TO GO ON CALLS WHERE THEY'RE NOT NEEDED.

WE CAN ALSO TAKE THAT A STEP FURTHER AGAIN, BY LOOKING AT POPULATION HEALTH AND SAYING, HOW MANY OF THESE PATIENTS REALLY NEED AMBULANCES? AND MAYBE THERE'S ANOTHER APPROACH.

MAYBE IT'S A TELE-HEALTH APPROACH.

MAYBE IT'S ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS.

THERE'S WAYS THAT WE CAN TRY TO TAKE PEOPLE OUT OF THE EMS SYSTEM AND GET AHEAD OF IT SO THAT WE CAN FOCUS THOSE FRONTLINE PROVIDERS ON TRULY ANSWERING NINE 11 CALLS.

THANK YOU.

QUESTION NUMBER NINE, IN ADDITION TO TOPICS ALREADY DISCUSSED, DO YOU BELIEVE THERE ARE ANY OTHER CHALLENGES THAT MIGHT BE FACING AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS? IF SO, HOW DO YOU INTEND TO ADDRESS THEM? THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, ACKNOWLEDGED IS COMING IN FROM YOUR EXTERNAL CANDIDATE, BUT THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION THAT, THAT I WANT TO ASK IN RETURN.

AND I THINK THAT IN ORDER FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND THAT I NEED TO SPEND TIME AND I NEED TO LISTEN.

AND THAT WOULD BE MY FIRST COMMITMENT WHEN I CAME INTO THIS ORGANIZATION IS TO GET OUT ON THE STREETS AND GET TO KNOW PEOPLE, SPEND TIME ON THE NIGHT SHIFT, SPEND TIME ROTATING THROUGH THE CREWS, HOLDING TOWN HALLS AND LISTENING TO THE STAFF.

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S, WHAT'S GOING ON.

IF THERE'S MORALE ISSUES, I NEED TO HEAR WHY.

AND I WANT TO HEAR THEM FROM THE FRONTLINE PROVIDERS, NOT FROM THE LEADERSHIP TEAM.

I WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON HERE AND HOW CAN WE USE CREATIVE TOOLS IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THEM? I'M NOT GOING TO COME IN RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE.

THE OFFICER TRAVIS SYSTEM IS A WONDERFUL WORLD, RENOWNED EMS SYSTEM THAT DOES GREAT THINGS WITH GREAT, A GREAT CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, AND A GREAT SUPPORT FROM YOUR, FROM YOUR COUNSEL AND FROM YOUR COMMUNITY.

BUT LET'S TAKE A LOOK AND SAY OTHER, BUT WHAT'S UNDER THE SHEETS.

HOW CAN WE, HOW CAN WE LOOK AT THAT? AND REALLY TRY TO MAKE CHANGES THERE BASED ON THE FEEDBACK THAT THAT I CAN GET.

AND THAT'S REALLY THE BEST ANSWER I CAN GIVE YOU IS I DON'T KNOW, BUT I'M GOING TO FIND OUT.

AND WHEN I COME IN, I'M GOING TO GET TO KNOW FOLKS AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.

WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING OUT THERE, GETTING ON THE STREET, GOING ON CALLS, MEETING WITH STAFF AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT WHAT'S TAKING IT OFF AND TRY TO SEE A MASS.

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE TICK? THANK YOU SO MUCH.

AND THAT CONCLUDES OUR QUESTIONS FOR YOU.

UH, AND WE, YOU HAVE A GREAT REST OF YOUR EVENING.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

AND THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH YOU ALL AND TO, TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES.

SO EVERYONE THAT CONCLUDES THE QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSIONS WITH THE EMS CHIEF CANDIDATES.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FINALIST FOR JOINING US.

AND I'D LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR TUNING IN THIS EVENING.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT NOW TO FILL OUT THE CANDIDATE FEEDBACK FORMS, WHICH YOU CAN FIND BY VISITING THE SPEAK-UP AUSTIN.ORG/EMS/CHIEF/SEARCH BEGINNING TOMORROW, FRIDAY, JANUARY 14TH AT NOON, YOU WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO CALL 3 1, 1 OR FIVE ONE TWO NINE SEVEN FOUR 2000 AND SUBMIT YOUR FEEDBACK ON THE CANDIDATES, BOTH OUR SPEAK-UP AUSTIN PAGE AND THE 3, 1, 1 SERVICE WILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE YOUR FEEDBACK THROUGH MONDAY, JANUARY 17TH.

THANKS