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[00:00:06]

UH, THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US

[Swearing in Ceremony for Austin-Travis County EMS Chief Rob Luckritz on May 13, 2022.]

BOTH VIRTUALLY AND IN PERSON FOR THE SWEARING IN CEREMONY OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, HIS NEW CHIEF, CHIEF ROBERT LUKE WRITES.

UM, FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW ME, WHICH IS PROBABLY MOST OF YOU IN THE ROOM.

UM, MY NAME IS CAPTAIN KRISTA STEADMAN.

I AM ONE HALF OF THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE.

UM, I WILL BE YOUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES TODAY.

UH, I APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR HOW MUCH YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HEAR MY VOICE.

SO JUST BEAR WITH ME.

UM, YEAH, NO, I SAID THE APOLOGY ABOUT THE VOICE.

UM, SO AT THIS TIME, I'M GOING TO ASK EVERYBODY TO PLEASE STAND WHILE WE DO THE PRESENTATION OF COLORS AND THEN REMAIN STANDING AS, UM, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS MEDIC KATIE NELL PERFORMS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OH, UNIFORM MERCY NOW PRESE IT.

WHOA.

BROUGHT STRIVE.

BRIGHTSTAR HOME.

THANK YOU, HONOR GUARD.

AND THANK YOU TO KATIE.

UM, AT THIS TIME I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE PASTOR AND AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS DIVISION, CHIEF MICHAEL WRIGHT, TO GIVE US OUR INVOCATION.

THANK YOU, KRISTA, BEEN IN EMS FOR ALMOST FOUR DECADES.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I'VE ALWAYS HEARD IS THAT EMS IS THE THIRD SERVICE OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES AND WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT COMING FIRST AND FIRE COMING SECOND AND EMS COMING THIRD, JUST FOR THE, THE ORDER OF ARRIVAL ON THE SCENE, IF YOU WILL.

AND AS A PASTOR, I'VE STUDIED THE BIBLE.

AND I FIND THAT NOT NECESSARILY LINE UP WITH THAT.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE ENTIRE OLD TESTAMENT WAS ALL ABOUT LAWLESSNESS AND SO NOT MUCH LAW ENFORCEMENT GOING ON THERE.

AND THEN THERE WAS MOSES IN THE BURNING BUSH THAT NEVER GOT PUT OUT AND THERE'S THAT.

BUT IN THE SECOND KINGS FOUR, WE SEE THE FIRST CARDIAC ARREST SAVE.

AND I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU THE SCENARIO THAT A YOUNG CHILD DEVELOPED A VERY SEVERE SUDDEN HEADACHE.

AND HIS MOTHER PULLED HIM UP IN HER LAP WHERE HE DIED.

THE MOTHER THEN RUSHED OUT TO THE FIELDS WHERE THERE WAS A WISE MAN NAMED ELISHA AND HE GRABBED HIS COKE IS,

[00:05:01]

UM, CLOAK AND HIS STAFF AND RUSH VERY QUICKLY TO THE HOUSE.

AND WHEN ELIJAH CAME INTO THE HOUSE, HE SAW THE CHILD LYING ON HIS BED.

SO HE WENT IN AND SHUT THE DOOR BEHIND THE TWO OF THEM AND PRAYED TO THE LORD.

THEN HE WENT UP AND LAY ON THE CHILD, PUTTING HIS MOUTH ON HIS MOUTH, HIS EYES ON HIS EYES AND HIS HANDS ON HIS HANDS.

AND AS HE STRETCHED HIMSELF UPON HIM, THE CHILD OPENED HIS EYES AND LIVED.

SO HE CALLED THE MOTHER.

AND WHEN SHE CAME INTO HIM, HE SAID, PICK UP YOUR SON AND THEY PRAISED GOD, LET'S DO THAT NOW.

SO FATHER, WE JUST PRAISE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE FOR YOUR MAJESTY, FOR YOUR WONDER, FOR YOUR MIC, FOR YOUR WISDOM AND FATHER.

WE'RE JUST SO VERY THANKFUL THAT YOU ALLOW US TO SERVE YOU AND HOW WE SERVE OUR FELLOW MAN AND FATHER.

WE PRAISE YOU THAT YOU ALLOW US AND EQUIP US TO STAND IN THE GAP FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT STAND FOR THEMSELVES.

FATHER, WE PRAISE YOU THAT YOU'VE ALLOWED US TO BE THOSE WHO CARE FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT CARE FOR THEMSELVES.

AND SO FATHER, WE PRAISE YOU FOR THE CALLING THAT YOU'VE PLACED ON OUR AND FATHER TODAY.

I JUST PRAISE YOU FOR THE WISDOM THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN EACH ONE OF US, ALLOWING US TO SERVE IN THIS CITY AND FATHER.

I PRAISE YOU FOR THE WISDOM OF OUR CITY LEADERSHIP TO BRING CHIEF BLUEPRINTS TO US AND FATHER.

WE'RE JUST SO VERY THANKFUL THAT WE CAN WELCOME HIM TODAY.

SO FATHER, FOR OUR NEW CHIEF, I PRAY THAT HE WOULD HAVE AN UNENDING STREAM OF WISDOM.

THAT FATHER, THAT THE VISION THAT HE HAS IS A VISION THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM FOR THIS COMMUNITY AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, THAT FATHER, THAT YOU'LL GIVE HIM GREAT CONFIDENCE IN THE WORK THAT YOU'VE SET BEFORE HIM, THAT FATHER, THAT SHE WILL SURROUND HIM WITH A CADRE OF PEOPLE THAT WILL HELP EXECUTE THE VISION THAT YOU'VE GIVEN HIM AND FATHER THROUGH ALL THIS.

I JUST PRAY FOR HIS COURAGE TO MAKE THE DECISIONS THAT ARE DIFFICULT.

LORD, I PRAY FOR HIS DISCERNMENT FATHERS, THOSE DECISIONS APPROACH.

AND LORD, I PRAY THAT IN ALL THINGS, HE FINDS GREAT SATISFACTION IN THE WORK THAT HE IS DOING HERE.

FATHER, I PRAY FOR HIS FAMILY AND HIS FRIENDS THAT THEY WOULD JUST BE ABLE BODIED, UM, SUPPORT FOR HIM AND THAT IN ALL THINGS, CHIEF LOU WILL BE ABLE TO FIND REST WHILE I JUST PRAY THAT IN ALL OF US, WE SERVE YOU IN SUCH A WAY THAT THERE WILL BE A DAY WHEN WE HEAR THOSE GREAT WORDS, WELL DONE.

MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS FATHER TO YOU BE THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER.

AND TODAY I PRAY IN JESUS NAME.

AMEN.

YOU MAY BE SEATED.

THANK YOU FOR THAT CHIEF.

RIGHT.

UM, I HAVE TO SAY THAT I APPRECIATE YOU MANAGING TO RELATE THAT BACK TO THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND EMS. THAT WAS, UH, THAT WAS AWESOME.

UM, AT THIS TIME I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO CITY MANAGERS, SPENCER CRONK, UM, WHO WILL JOIN ME AT THE PODIUM AND, UH, DELIVER SOME REMARKS.

WELL, GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND DISTINGUISHED GUESTS.

UH, I CANNOT IMAGINE A BETTER PLACE TO SPEND A FRIDAY AFTERNOON, THE RIGHT HERE, WELCOMING OUR NEW EMS CHIEF.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THIS SPECIAL OCCASION.

AS WE OFFICIALLY SWEAR IN CHIEF LUKE RITZ AND WELL PROBABLY WELCOME HIM INTO THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND INTO OUR COMMUNITY.

TODAY IS A UNIQUE PRIVILEGE FOR ME, FOR A MULTIPLE OF REASONS.

I'M EQUALLY HONORED TO PARTICIPATE IN SUCH A HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT EVENTS FOR CHIEF OUR PUBLIC SAFETY CHIEFS AND THE ORGANIZATION THAT THEY LEAD ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR RESIDENTS.

AND I'M EXCITED TO CELEBRATE TODAY, BUT BEFORE DOING SO, I WANTED TO BEGIN BY TAKING A MOMENT TO RECOGNIZE AND SAY, THANK YOU TO RETIRED CHIEF JASPER BROWN.

HE SERVED TRAVIS COUNTY EMS AND OUR COMMUNITY WITH DISTINCTION FOR 25 YEARS.

MOST RECENTLY, AS AUSTIN'S INTERIM EMS, CHIEF CHIEF BROWN REMAINED A STEADFAST LEADER OF EMS THROUGH TIMES OF TRIUMPH.

AND ALSO SOME OF ITS MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES I COULD SHARE MANY OF JASPER'S PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS JUST IN MY TIME AS CITY MANAGER.

BUT MOST RECENTLY HE WAS CRITICAL IN HELPING LEAD EMS AND THE CITY'S RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

HIS LOVE AND CARE FOR THE DEPARTMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

AND SO AGAIN, I WANT TO EXTEND ON BEHALF OF A GRATEFUL CITY, OUR DEEPEST THANKS TO CHIEF BROWN FOR AS MANY YEARS OF SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP.

AND I WISH HIM ALL THE BEST IN HIS RETIREMENT, BUT LOOKING FORWARD, I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED TO WELCOME OUR NEW EMS, CHIEF CHIEF ROBERT NEKRITZ.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS A CITY MANAGER CAN MAKE IS CHOOSING THE LEADERS OF LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES, WHETHER IT IS EMS, POLICE OR FIRE, THE DECISION TO APPOINT A CHIEF AND TO ENTRUST THEM WITH THE AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY OF LEADING THOSE WHO ARE SWORN TO RISK THEIR OWN LIVES TO PROTECT THE LIFE OF OUR COMMUNITY IS ONE, NO MANAGER TAKES LIGHTLY.

AND CERTAINLY ONE THAT WAS NOT LOST ON ME.

SHE FLIPPED HER, IT'S PARTICIPATED

[00:10:01]

IN A LENGTH FULL LENGTHY RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCESS DEMONSTRATING THROUGHOUT THAT HE HAS NOT ONLY HAS THE MANY NECESSARY TECHNICAL SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS TO LEAD EMS AND THE COUNTRY'S 11TH LARGEST CITY, BUT ALSO AN ABSOLUTE PASSION FOR HIS CHOSEN PROFESSION.

BEFORE ARRIVING IN AUSTIN, SHE FLIPPED RITZ WAS A COMMITTED APAR PRE HOSPITAL PROFESSIONAL ON THE EAST COAST SPENDING MUCH OF HIS CAREER IN NEW JERSEY.

AND MOST RECENTLY IN MASSACHUSETTS, HE HAS BEEN A CLINICIAN SERVED IN EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP ROLES IN HOSPITAL AND HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS. AND MOST RECENTLY SERVED AS A CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF TRANSFORMATIVE HEALTHCARE OF NEW ENGLAND, WHERE HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTRACTED EMS OPERATIONS AND AMBULANCE SERVICES ACROSS 13 DISTINCT MUNICIPALITIES AND OVERSAW THE DEPLOYMENTS OF THE FIRST MASS VACCINATION SITES IN MASSACHUSETTS.

AND IF YOU HAD FOLLOWED THE RECENT NEWS, YOU KNOW, THAT THE PRESSURE ON OUR AUSTIN MEDICS THESE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS BETWEEN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND A HISTORY MAKING WINTER STORM HAS BEEN INCREDIBLY INTENSE.

THAT IS NOT LOST ON ME OR THE ENTIRE CITY AND OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY YET.

DESPITE THESE CHALLENGES, OUR EMS DEPARTMENTS REMAINS STRONG AND I AM SO PROUD OF OUR EMS PROFESSIONALS WHO HAVE CHOSEN THIS CAREER OF SELFLESS SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY.

OUR EMS DEPARTMENT IS AN INDUSTRY LEADER, WIDELY ADMIRED THE WORLD OVER.

AND I BELIEVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY IN CHIEF LUKE, IT'S HIS ABILITY TO LEAD THE BRAVE HEROES OF OUR EMS SYSTEM AS THEY CONTINUE THE COURSE OF THIS EXCELLENCE CHIEF.

AGAIN, IT IS MY DISTINCT HONOR TO WELCOME YOU TO AUSTIN.

AND I AM EXCITED TO HAVE SERVE OF YOU IN THIS INCREDIBLY IMPRESSIVE CITY ORGANIZATION.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL BEING HERE TODAY.

AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS HISTORIC MOMENT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

CITY MANAGER, CRUNK LOST MY SPOT.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? OKAY, THAT'S FINE.

UM, WELL AGAIN, THANK YOU CITY MANAGER, KRONK.

UM, AT THIS POINT, IT'S MY HONOR TO INTRODUCE THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN MAYOR STEVE ADLER, UM, WHO WILL JOIN US TO GIVE SOME REMARKS, THANK YOU, KEVIN AND STEDMAN.

IT IS A GREAT HONOR AND PRIVILEGE, UH, TO, TO BE IN FRONT OF YOU HERE TODAY TO CELEBRATE THE NEW CHIEF OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, THE DEDICATED EMS CLINICIANS, ALONG WITH THE, UH, UH, UH, EMERGENCY SERVICES ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF.

WE LED BY AN OUTSTANDING LEADER AND A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND EXPERIENCED PRACTITIONER OF PREHOSPITAL MEDICINE, UH, THAT THE, THE MANAGER JUST WENT THROUGH QUALIFICATIONS AND, AND IT IS JUST EXTRAORDINARILY IMPRESSIVE.

UH, I WANT TO ADD MY VOICE TO SAYING WELCOME HOME TO, UH, TO, TO AUSTIN.

UH, I WOULD NOTE THAT IN EVEN THE BRIEF TIME THAT YOU HAVE IN HERE AND THE CONVERSATIONS THAT I HAVE HAD WITH, WITH, WITH MEMBERS OF, OF EMS AND FOLKS IN THE FIELD, YOU HAVE ALREADY IN GENDER'S SUCH TRUST AND RESPECT SUCH HIGH HOPES AND EXPECTATION AND POTENTIAL AND ENTHUSIASM, UH, IT'S EXCITING TO, UH, TO, TO, TO SEE, UH, BUT EVEN AS WE ARE HERE TODAY TO, TO CELEBRATE, UH, UH, YOUR, UH, OFFICIAL, UH, COMING INTO THIS POSITION, I THINK IT REALLY IS ESSENTIAL FOR US IN THIS MOMENT TO TALK ABOUT THE, UH, PEOPLE OF THIS, OF THIS DEPARTMENT, THE INCREDIBLE PROFESSIONALS OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS HAVE SHOWN DEDICATION AND INCREDIBLE GRACE AND SKILL, ESPECIALLY DEALING WITH COVID

[00:15:02]

FOR TWO YEARS, WE HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS CITY THAT ARE SO EXHAUSTED THAT HAVE BEEN ON THE FRONT LINES FOR SO LONG, NO ONE CLAIMS RIGHT TO CLAIMING EXHAUSTION MORE THAN, THAN THIS, THAN THIS GROUP, RUNNING CALLS IN THE, IN THE SCORCHING HEAT OF, UH, AUSTIN IN A FULL PPE, GOING INTO SITUATIONS WHEN WE WERE REAL UNCERTAIN ABOUT HEALTH IMPACTS, UH, PUTTING THEIR LIVES AND THEIR HEALTH ON THE LINE, UH, IN ORDER TO KEEP THE BROADER COMMUNITY AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE BEYOND EVEN COVID, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT RESPONDING TO ONE OF THE WORST CRISES THIS CITY AND THIS STATE HAVE EVER FACED IN, IN FEBRUARY OF 2021, UH, RESPONDING TO THE HIGHEST CALL VOLUMES.

THIS DEPARTMENT HAS EVER SEEN HELPING OUR COMMUNITY NAVIGATE WHAT SEEMS LIKE ALMOST A WEEKLY CRISIS.

UH, THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS HAVE BEEN INTENSE AND MOST INTENSE, I THINK, FOR THE EMS CORPS.

UH, AND I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE HEROES IN THIS COMMUNITY.

YOU ARE THE ONES THAT WE RELY UPON WHEN WE NEED HELP.

YOU BRAVE THE ELEMENTS YOU COME TO WORK SO THAT YOU CAN CARE FOR THIS COMMUNITY WHEN THEY NEED IT.

YOU PROVIDE US WITH LIFE-SAVING CARE AND YOU COMFORT US ON BEHALF OF MY COLLEAGUES ON THE CITY COUNCIL FOR WHOM ARE WITH US TODAY, COUNCIL MEMBER HARPER, MADISON COUNCIL MEMBER, ALICE COUNCIL MEMBER, KITCHEN COUNCIL, MEMBER KELLY, AND THE ENTIRE CITY COUNCIL AND THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

UH, I JUST WANTED TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY AND MOMENT TO SAY, THANK YOU.

I ALSO WANT TO SAY THANK YOU BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT IT IS, UH, IN PART THE INCREDIBLE SKILL, THE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE, THE INCREDIBLE DEDICATION OF THE OFFICE, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS TEAM, AND HOW YOU SERVE OUR COMMUNITY IS ONE OF THE CHIEF REASONS, UH, THAT CHIEF LOU CRITZ WAS ATTRACTED TO COME TO OUR COMMUNITY AND SERVE.

UH, I KNOW THAT HE IS EXCITED TO THE, THE DEDICATED MEMBERS OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

WE ARE SO EXCITED TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

CONGRATULATIONS.

THANK YOU FOR THAT MAYOR ADLER.

UM, NOW I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE TRAVIS COUNTY, JUDGE ANDY BROWN, UP TO GIVE SOME REMARKS, UM, AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, WE ARE NOT JUST A CITY DEPARTMENT.

WE ARE ALSO A COUNTY DEPARTMENT, HENCE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS. UM, SO WE'RE HONORED TO HAVE JUDGE BROWN HERE TODAY TO SPEAK WITH US.

JUDGE BROWN.

THANKS CAPTAIN STEDMAN.

UM, WE HAVE FRANKLIN HERE WITH ME TODAY, UM, G FLOOD CRITS ON BEHALF OF THE COMMISSIONER'S COURT.

I WANT TO WELCOME YOU TO TRAVIS COUNTY.

AS YOU KNOW, TRAVIS COUNTY IS HOME TO NOT JUST THE CITY OF AUSTIN, BUT ALSO 21 ADDITIONAL CITIES AND VILLAGES.

IT IS A BIG PLACE A WHILE.

EACH ONE OF THESE CITIES AND VILLAGES IS DIFFERENT IN ITS OWN WAY.

WE ARE STILL ONE REALLY AMAZING COMMUNITY.

IF THE PANDEMIC AND THE RECENT WEATHER EVENTS THAT THE MAYOR TALKED ABOUT HAVE TAUGHT US ANYTHING IT'S THAT OUR COMMUNITY IS SERVED BEST WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER.

AND WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER, WE CAN DO ANYTHING.

I THINK THOSE ARE A LOT OF CHALLENGES AHEAD AND EMS WILL BE INVOLVED IN PRETTY MUCH EVERY ONE OF THEM THAT I CAN THINK OF.

UH, THE PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE HAVE STRENGTHENED AND REINFORCED OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS IS A TESTAMENT TO OUR COMMUNITY'S ABILITY TO FACE CHALLENGES AND OVERCOME ANY OBSTACLE AS CHIEF OF THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, YOU WILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THESE PARTNERSHIPS.

IT'S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE EASY, BUT THIS COMMUNITY, THANKS YOU FOR STANDING, STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE AND PLEASE KNOW THAT I AND MY COLLEAGUES ON THE TRAVIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT ARE HERE TO HELP IN ANY WAY THAT WE CAN.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU AND YOUR DEPARTMENT.

WELCOME HOME.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, JUDGE BROWN.

AND THANK YOU, FRANKLIN.

UM, UH, NEXT UP, I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU ALL TO SOMEONE THAT

[00:20:01]

ALL OF US AT AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS LOOK UP TO A MAN THAT I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR.

I AM HONORED TO CALL HIM NOT ONLY A COLLEAGUE, BUT ALSO A FRIEND, PLEASE.

WELCOME TO THE PODIUM, THE CITY OF AUSTIN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, DR.

MARK ASCOT.

THANK YOU, KRISTA.

HELLO EVERYBODY.

THIS IS EXCITING DAY.

UH, CHIEF CONGRATULATIONS, UH, REALLY EXCITED TO HAVE YOU, AND AS EVERYONE IS BEFORE ME AND SAID, WELCOME TO THE CITY, UH, LET ME START BY SAYING IT WAS A PLEASURE TO SERVE ON YOUR INTERVIEW PANEL.

AND I, I'VE ENJOYED GETTING TO KNOW YOU PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS.

UH, AND I CAN SAY WITHOUT A DOUBT, JUST SPENCER AND COUNCIL, YOU GUYS MADE A FANTASTIC DECISION IN CHOOSING THIS NATIONAL EMS LEADER TO REALLY BRING THIS DEPARTMENT INTO THE FUTURE.

CHIEF YOU'VE INHERITED, AS SPENCER SAID EARLIER, REALLY ONE OF THE CROWN JEWELS OF EMS IN THE UNITED STATES.

IT HAS A RICH HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE.

WE SERVE MORE THAN A HUNDRED THOUSAND PATIENTS IN THIS COMMUNITY EVERY YEAR.

AND WHILE WE'VE EXPERIENCED MANY YEARS OF SUCCESS IN THE PAST, I'M CONFIDENT THAT THE BEST YEARS OF THIS ORGANIZATION LAY IN THE FUTURE, NOT IN THE PAST THE EMS SYSTEM OF 2022 IS ONE THAT'S MUCH DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I FOUND, UH, IN MY, WHEN I STARTED EMS, ABOUT 30 YEARS AGO, BACK THEN PARAMEDICS HAD A LIMITED SCOPE OF PRACTICE COMPARED TO OUR MODERN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS CLINICIANS WHO NOW HAVE EXTENSIVE EDUCATION AND TRAINING AND TOOLS THAT WE WOULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED BACK IN 1991, SUCH AS THE ABILITY TO GIVE BLOOD TO PATIENTS BEFORE THEY EVEN REACHED THE HOSPITAL.

FOR THOSE WHO WERE IN CRITICAL CONDITION AND NEEDED IMMEDIATELY BACK THEN, WE RESPONDED TO NINE 11 CALLS AND CARED FOR PATIENTS, AND ALMOST ALWAYS TRANSPORTED THEM TO THE HOSPITAL WITHOUT ANY CONSIDERATION FOR WHETHER OR NOT THEY NEEDED TO BE THERE BACK THEN.

THE EMS SYSTEM CONSISTED OF AMBULANCES AND FIRST RESPONDERS WITHOUT MUCH REGARD TOWARDS THE OTHER ISSUES AFFECTING COMMUNITY HEALTH.

IN STARK CONTRAST, THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY EMS SYSTEM IS INFINITELY MORE COMPLEX AND SOPHISTICATED, NOT JUST ADDRESSING THE LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY EMERGENCIES, BUT ALSO ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES THAT FACE OUR COMMUNITY AND THOSE MEMBERS WHO REALLY LACK THE ACCESS TO ROUTINE HEALTHCARE, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, EMS PIONEERED A SUCCESSFUL AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAM MORE THAN A DECADE AGO, TO HELP ADDRESS THOSE NEEDS OF OUR LOW INCOME RESIDENTS AND THOSE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, COUNTLESS COUNTLESS MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN CONNECTED TO HEALTHCARE AND OTHER COMMUNITY RESOURCES OVER THE PAST DECADE OR SO.

MORE RECENTLY, OUR DEPARTMENTS HAVE WORKED TOGETHER TO IMPLEMENT AN INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT PROGRAM TO INITIATE THERAPY FOR THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER AND BRIDGE THEM INTO ONGOING RECOVERY FROM NARCOTIC ADDICTION.

AS OF TODAY, THAT PROGRAM HAS BRIDGED NEARLY 200 PATIENTS ENTER RECOVERY PROGRAMS WITH A SEVEN DAY RETENTION RATE OF ABOUT 95%.

MANY OF THESE PATIENTS HAVE REMAINED IN LONG-TERM RECOVERY AND HAVE GONE ON TO BE INCREDIBLE SUCCESS STORIES FOR THIS, FROM THOSE WHO ARE NOW WORKING AS RECOVERY COACHES TO THOSE WHO'VE FINISHED COLLEGE AND GONE ON TO LAW SCHOOL, THEIR SUCCESSES PROVE HOW EFFECTIVE EMS CAN BE AT ADDRESSING SOME OF THESE ISSUES THAT FACE OUR COMMUNITY.

AS WE EXPERIENCED UNPRECEDENTED OVERDOSES AND OVERDOSE DEATHS IN OUR COMMUNITY, THE GROUNDWORK LAID BY THIS PROGRAM WILL SERVE YOU WELL.

AS WE CONTINUE TO COLLABORATE WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, AUSTIN, PUBLIC HEALTH, OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS ACROSS THIS COMMUNITY AND OUR PASSIONATE COMMUNITY RECOVERY PROFESSIONALS TO ADDRESS THIS PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.

IN ADDITION TO THE COLLABORATIVE WORK IN THE SPACE OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER, WE HAVE WORKED TO ADDRESS THE SUBSTANTIAL LACK OF ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE AMONGST THE MOST VULNERABLE MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

OUR DEPARTMENTS HAVE WORKED TOGETHER TO BUILD ON THE COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAM CONCEPT AND HAVE CREATED NEW SERVICES TO NAVIGATE PATIENTS AND RESOURCES MORE EFFECTIVELY.

AND YOUR SHORT TIME HERE, YOU HAVE ALREADY LED THE EFFORT TO REVOLUTIONIZE OUR CALL TAKING AND TRIAGE PROCESS TO ENSURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE NAVIGATION OF RESOURCES, WHICH ARE APPROPRIATE FOR OUR PATIENTS, SAVING OUR CITY AND OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS FROM UNNECESSARY EXPENSES, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, IMPROVING

[00:25:01]

THE QUALITY OF CARE.

NOW, ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT LAY AHEAD FOR US IN THE SYSTEM AND YOU, UH, IS REALLY ADDRESSING THE FINDINGS OF THE EQUITY AND OPTIMIZATION STUDY, UH, THAT, UH, WAS PERFORMED ON AN EMS SYSTEM LAST YEAR, WHICH IDENTIFIED MANY AREAS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE THE EQUITY OF SERVICES THAT THE SYSTEM PROVIDES, PARTICULARLY IN OUR EASTERN CRESCENT OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, YOUR LEADERSHIP IN THE AREAS OF DIVERSITY EQUITY AND INCLUSION WILL SERVE THE DEPARTMENT IN THE CITY.

WELL, AS WE PURSUE THIS GOAL OF EQUITABLE OUTCOMES FOR ALL OF OUR PATIENTS ACROSS THIS COMMUNITY, YOUR DIVERSE BACKGROUND IN EMS, IN HOSPITAL LEADERSHIP IN LAW, IN WORKFORCE LEADERSHIP ARE EXACTLY THE TOOLS THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS THIS AND THE MANY OTHER COMPLEX CHALLENGING WE FACE IN THE FUTURE.

I WILL SAY THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IMPRESSED ME THE MOST, UH, ABOUT CHIEF LUKE RITZ AND DURING THE INTERVIEW PROCESS, AND CERTAINLY OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS IS HIS LEADERSHIP PRIORITIES.

AND THOSE PRIORITIES REALLY FOCUSED ON THIS DUALITY THAT OCCURS AND THAT'S CRITICAL FOR ANY HEALTHCARE ENTITY.

AND THAT IS THE INEXTRICABLE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE QUALITY AND SATISFACTION OF THE WORKFORCE AND THE QUALITY OF CARE PROVIDED TO OUR PATIENTS.

CHIEF, LUKE RITZ HAS A PROVEN RECORD OF LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE, UH, AND IN ADDRESSING WORKFORCE CHALLENGES FACED IS NOT A NEW PROBLEM.

THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR MANY, MANY YEARS AND WHILE SERVING AS THE EMS DIRECTOR IN JERSEY CITY, HE LAUNCHED A COMMUNITY-BASED INITIATIVE, UH, IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO ENCOURAGE ENTRY INTO EMS PROFESSION THROUGH BOTH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CHARTER SCHOOL FOR HEALTH SCIENCES, COORDINATED WITH THE LOCAL BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB, AS WELL AS A PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL UNEMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING AGENCY TO PROVIDE EMT TRAINING, UH, FOR THOSE IN THE COMMUNITY WHO WERE UNEMPLOYED, THIS INNOVATIVE APPROACH, NOT ONLY AIDED IN FILLING GAPS IN THE ORGANIZATION, BUT ALSO PROVIDED CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE WHO MAY HAVE NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED A CAREER IN EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES.

I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT WHILE WE FACE MANY CHALLENGES AHEAD IN THIS RAPIDLY GROWING COMMUNITY, YOU AND THE AMAZING TEAM THAT HAS BEEN REFERENCED BY MY PREDECESSORS UP HERE WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE AS A MODEL FOR EMS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ACROSS THE WORLD THE BEST DAYS LAY IN OUR FUTURE.

AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU AND THIS GREAT TEAM OF YOURS TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE WORLD-CLASS CARE FOR THE PEOPLE OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND AGAIN, WELCOME TO TEAM AUSTIN.

CONGRATULATIONS.

THANK YOU, DR.

ASCOT.

IT'S ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW DR.

ASCOT WHEN SPEAKING PUBLICLY BECAUSE, UM, HE'S REALLY GOOD AT IT.

UM, UH, BUT WITHOUT MORE DELAY NOW IS ESSENTIALLY THE TIME WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR.

UM, I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE CHIEF LOU CRITS UP TO THE PODIUM WITH ME FOR JUST A MOMENT.

IF YOU'D STAND JUST TO MY LEFT HERE, I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO INTRODUCE MRS. LOU CRITS, WHO WILL BE PENDING THE BADGE.

I'M SORRY, MR. , WHO WILL BE PINNING CHIEF'S BADGE ON HIM.

UM, MR. LUCAS, IF YOU'D LIKE TO JOIN US, THE PENNY OF A BADGE MAY SEEM LIKE ONLY A SIMPLE PORTRAYAL OF A POSITION OR AUTHORITY, UH, BUT IT REPRESENTS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

IT REPRESENTS ONE'S WILLINGNESS TO SACRIFICE THEIR OWN LIFE OR HEALTH OR SAFETY IN SERVICE TO OTHERS.

IT'S NOT JUST A SYMBOL.

IT IS A PROMISE TO UPHOLD THE BEST INTEREST OF THE COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM SAFE AND HEALTHY.

MR. LEE BREATH, IF YOU WOULD DO THE UM, ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US AT AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK, UM, NOT ONLY CHIEF LUCAS'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY, UM, BUT EVERYBODY THAT LOVES HIM FOR SHARING HIM WITH US.

UH, HE HAS TRULY BEEN A DELIGHT THUS FAR, AND IT'S ONLY BEEN A COUPLE OF MONTHS, SO WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT IS TO COME.

UM,

[00:30:01]

I AM GOING TO ASK CHIEF LUKE GRITS TO KIND OF JUST HANG AT THE SIDE OF THE PODIUM.

UM, AND I AM ALSO GOING TO INVITE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, RAY ARIANO UP, UM, TO GIVE SOME, UM, SOME REMARKS AND THEN, UH, HAVE CHIEF TAKE HIS OATH OF OFFICE.

THANK YOU, KRISTA.

AS THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER OF PUBLIC SAFETY, IT IS MY PRIVILEGE TO WELCOME CHIEF LUCAS TO THIS CITY, CHIEF, YOU ARE NOW PART OF A COMMUNITY OF DEDICATED PUBLIC SAFETY PROFESSIONALS INVESTED IN YOUR SUCCESS AS YOU LEAD AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, THE LARGEST THIRD SERVICE EMS SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY WITH A STAFF OF MORE THAN 600 DMTS AND PARAMEDICS SERVING A POPULATION OF 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL PREHOSPITAL CARE IS THE HEARTBEAT OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS. IT'S CONSISTENTLY ONE OF THE LEADING AGENCIES IN THE NATION FOR CARDIAC ARREST SURVIVAL.

IT HAS GAINED AND MAINTAINED ACCREDITATION FROM THE COMMISSION ON THE ACCREDITATION OF AMBULANCE SERVICES.

FOR MANY YEARS, THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY EMS COMMUNICATIONS CENTER WAS THE FIRST IN TEXAS TO BE DESIGNATED AS AN ACCREDITED CENTER OF EXCELLENCE BY THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIES OF EMERGENCY DISPATCH, A DISTINCTION THAT HAS PROUDLY HELD FOR 21 YEARS, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS SETS THE PULSE FOR INNOVATING PATIENT CENTERED PREHOSPITAL CARE.

IT'S NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FOR DEVELOPING PROACTIVE COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS THAT ADDRESS CHRONIC HEALTH NEEDS AND IMPROVE PATIENT OUTCOMES BEFORE THEY BECOME EMERGENCIES.

AND DR.

ASCOT, SCOTT MENTIONED A NUMBER OF EXAMPLES OF HOW EMS AS PROVIDED SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY.

AND THESE ARE JUST A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES OF MANY WAYS.

AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS HAS, HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY EVERY DAY.

IN PARTICULAR, I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PERSONALLY RECOGNIZE AND THANK THE MEN AND WOMEN OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, EMS, WHO OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, SELFLESSLY SERVED THE COMMUNITY DURING THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC AND HEROICALLY ENDURED THE EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS OF WINTER STORMS AND LANDON TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE RECEIVE THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE THEY NEEDED.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SERVING A CHIEF AND SEEING CHIEF LUCAS BUILD ON THAT LEGACY.

AS HE LEADS AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS INTO THE FUTURE.

NOW IT IS MY HONOR TO ADMINISTER THE OATH OF OFFICE.

SO WE CAN HAVE YOU RIGHT HERE WITH THE MIC AND RAISE YOUR RIGHT HAND.

PLEASE REPEAT AFTER ME.

I LOVE ROBERT LUCAS.

DO YOU SOLEMNLY SWEAR? I, ROBERT LIQUIDS, DO YOU SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL FAITHFULLY AND IMPARTIALLY DISCHARGE THAT I WILL FAITHFULLY AND IMPARTIALLY DISCHARGE AND PERFORM ALL DUTIES INCUMBENT UPON ME AND FROM ALL DUTIES INCUMBENT UPON ME AS EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, CHIEF OF THE CITY OF BOSTON AS EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, CHIEF OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN, ACCORDING TO THE BEST OF MY SKILL AND ABILITY, ACCORDING TO THE BEST OF MY SKILL AND ABILITY AGREEABLE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, GREENVILLE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF TEXAS AND THE STATE OF TEXAS.

I RECOGNIZE THE BADGE OF MY PROFESSION.

I RECOGNIZE THE BADGE OF MY PROFESSION AS A SYMBOLIC, AS IT'S A SYMBOL OF PUBLIC FAITH AND TRUST AS A SYMBOL OF PUBLIC FAITH AND TRUST.

AND I ACCEPT SO LONG AS I AM TRUE, AND I ACCEPT SO LONG THAT AS I AM TRUE TO THE ETHICS OF PREHOSPITAL MEDICINE, TO THE ETHICS OF FREE HOSPITAL MEDICINE AND MAKE THESE PROMISES AND MAKE THESE PROMISES SOME ONLY FREELY AND UPON MY HONOR, SILENTLY FREELY AND UPON MY HONOR, I FURTHER SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL BE FAITHFUL AT FURTHER SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL BE FAITHFUL TO THE DEMANDS OF SERVICE AS ESTABLISHED BY MY PROFESSION TO THE DEMANDS OF SERVICES ESTABLISHED BY MY PROFESSION AND THE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT AND THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

I PLEDGE TO PROMISE TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT.

I PLEDGED TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY, THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY THROUGH FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, HONESTY, THEIR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, EQUITY, AND LOYALTY, INTEGRITY, EQUITY, AND LOYALTY.

I WILL DEVOTE MY EFFORTS AND SKILLS.

I WILL DEVOTE MY EFFORTS AND SKILLS DUE TO THE SERVICE TO SERVE THE INDIVIDUALS OF THIS COMMUNITY, TO SERVE THE INDIVIDUALS OF THIS COMMUNITY.

BY CARRYING OUT THE DUTIES OF EMS CHIEF, TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, BY CARRYING OUT THE DUTIES OF EMS CHIEF, TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, AND WILL HONOR AND RESPECT THE MISSION AND WE'LL HONOR AND RESPECT THE MISSION, GOALS, PURPOSE, AND POLICIES OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN GOALS, PURPOSE AND POLICIES OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

SO HELP ME GOD.

SO HELP ME, GOD, CONGRATULATIONS.

[00:35:07]

THANK YOU, ACM.

ARIANO IT IS NOW MY DISTINCT PLEASURE TO OFFICIALLY INTRODUCE EVERYBODY TO THE 10TH EVER CHIEF OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, ROBERT LOU CRYPTS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

APPRECIATE IT.

AND THANK YOU, CITY MANAGER, CRUNK A MAYOR ADLER, JUDGE BROWN.

WHO'S GOT NO STEPPED OUT ACM MARIANO, UH, COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT HAVE JOINED US IN THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.

UH, I APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU FOR BEING HERE AND I APPRECIATE YOUR CONFIDENCE IN ME AND MY ABILITY TO, TO LEAD THIS ORGANIZATION.

I'VE HAD THE CHANCE TO BE HERE NOW FOR A FEW WEEKS, AND I CAN'T TELL YOU ENOUGH HOW EXCITING IT HAS BEEN FOR ME TO BE A PART OF THIS ORGANIZATION.

I'VE SAID IT MANY TIMES, AND IT'S BEEN SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE, SO I WON'T BELABOR THE POINT, BUT AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS IS A TRULY AMAZING EMS SYSTEM.

THERE'S OTHER COLORFUL WORDS I MIGHT SAY, BUT IT IS AN AWESOME PLACE TO WORK.

IT TRULY IS.

AND THE TEAM THAT IS HERE IS ABSOLUTELY TOP-NOTCH SOMETIMES WHEN WE, WHEN WE LIVE IN OUR WORLD AND WE LIVE AND WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW, WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE JUST HOW WONDERFUL THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN IS, AND I CAN TELL YOU AS SOMEBODY WHO'S COMING FROM THE OUTSIDE, IT'S NOT, IT'S NOT FAKE HERE.

IT'S REAL.

IT'S TRUE.

THIS IS THE BEST EMS SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY, AND I'M REALLY PROUD TO BE HERE.

AND I'M REALLY PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT.

THE REASON I CAME HERE IS BECAUSE EMS IS IN MY BLOOD.

I'VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER.

AND I GUESS SHOUT OUT TO MY PARENTS, MY MOTHER AND FATHER, MY FATHER, WHO WAS A VOLUNTEER FIRE CHIEF AND A CAREER MILITARY OFFICER, AND MY MOTHER WHO WAS A CAPTAIN OF A FIRST AID SQUAD SINCE I WAS 16 YEARS OLD, THIS HAS BEEN WHAT I'VE WANTED TO DO.

AND WHEN I FIRST LEARNED ABOUT AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, IS THAT THAT'S THE PLACE I WANT TO BE SOMEDAY.

AND I'M HERE AND I'M EXCITED TO BE HERE.

AND THIS IS TRULY FOR ME.

UM, AS WE SAID, THIS IS, THIS IS, THIS IS THE GOLDEN RING OF EMS, AND I'M TRULY EXCITED TO BE HERE OR MY CAREER I'VE TAKEN A COUPLE BREAKS.

I CALL THEM MY SABBATICALS.

I STARTED OFF IN EMS AND I WENT AND I WENT TO LAW SCHOOL.

I BECAME AN ATTORNEY AND I DID THAT FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

AND I SAID, NOPE, NOT FOR ME.

AND I TURNED AROUND AND I CAME BACK AND I WENT BACK INTO EMS, WORKING IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE.

I DID THAT FOR A FEW YEARS AND I, I WAS, UH, MADE MY WAY UP.

AND AT SOME POINT SOMEONE SAID, YOU'RE A LAWYER.

YOU SHOULD DO POLICY.

WHY DON'T YOU COME DO LOBBYING? AND I SAID, WELL, THAT SOUNDS FUN.

AND THEN I REALIZED THAT'S NOT SO FUN.

AND SO I CAME RIGHT BACK TO WHERE I WAS AND I LED AN EMS ORGANIZATION AGAIN IN A FEW YEARS LATER.

AND HE SAID, YOU'RE DOING GREAT.

LET'S, LET'S WHY DON'T YOU BECOME A HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE? AND WE WANT YOU TO COME WORK IN THE HOSPITAL AND, UH, BE ONE OF OUR, ONE OF OUR EXECUTIVES.

AND I DID THAT FOR TWO YEARS AND I SAID, I MISS IT TOO MUCH.

I CAN'T, I CAN'T DO IT.

AND SO I, I, I RETURNED NOW TO WHAT TRULY IS MY HOME, THE EMS SYSTEMS AND EMS SYSTEM, LIKE AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, THAT TRULY BELIEVES IN, UM, BEING PROGRESSIVE AND DOING RIGHT BY THE PATIENT AND DOING RIGHT BY THE COMMUNITY AND BEING INVOLVED WITH THE COMMUNITY AND AN ORGANIZATION THAT IS SUPPORTED BY ALL OF THE LEADERS THAT HAVE GRACIOUSLY GIVEN TIME ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON, UH, TO COME JOIN US HERE TODAY.

AND I CAN'T THANK YOU ALL ENOUGH FOR COMING HERE TODAY.

FOLKS HAVE ASKED ME WHY EMS AND I SHARED KIND OF MY BACKGROUND.

UM, EMS IS A REALLY SPECIAL INDUSTRY, UH, UNLIKE A LOT OF OTHER PUBLIC SAFETY INDUSTRIES AND OTHER HEALTHCARE INDUSTRIES.

IT'S YOUNG, RIGHT? IT'S A YOUNG INDUSTRY AND, AND, UH, PASTOR, RIGHT? I REALIZED WE GO BACK QUITE SOME TIME, BUT, BUT ORGANIZED, IT'S A YOUNG INDUSTRY.

AND AS WE LOOK AT IT, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY AS AN INDUSTRY TO WRITE THE BOOK.

LITERALLY THE BOOKS HASN'T BEEN WRITTEN YET, THE FIRE SERVICE HAS THEIR BOOK WRITTEN.

THE LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS THEIR BOOKLET AND HEALTHCARE HAS THEIR BOOK WRITTEN.

OUR BOOK'S NOT WRITTEN YET.

AND WE HAVE A CHANCE TO LOOK AT WHAT IS EMS REALLY GOING TO BE.

AND IT'S REALLY COOL THAT WE'RE POSITIONED WHERE WE ARE AND TO WORK FOR A THIRD SERVICE EMS AGENCY THAT CAN BE A HUB OF PREHOSPITAL HEALTHCARE AND CAN TAP INTO PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE FIRE SERVICE AND, AND THE THINGS THAT THEY DO, WE CAN TAP INTO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE THINGS THAT THEY DO, WE CAN TAP INTO PUBLIC HEALTH AND ACUTE CARE HOSPITALS AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AGENCIES.

WE ARE THE ONE PIECE THAT CONNECTS ALL OF THOSE AGENCIES, ALL OF THOSE ENTITIES AND WAYS LIKE NOWHERE ELSE CAN BE DONE AND TO BE A TRUE THIRD SERVICE ENTITY.

LIKE WE ARE HERE TODAY, WE ARE OPPOSED BETTER THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

IT'S BEEN A HARD COUPLE OF YEARS FOR US.

IT'S BEEN A HARD COUPLE OF YEARS FOR OUR, FOR EVERYONE HERE AS WE COME OUT OF COVID I SPENT, UH, MY TIME IN COVID IN THE METRO NEW YORK CITY AREA.

AND I CAN TELL YOU, IT WAS A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE FOR ME.

I'LL NEVER BE THE SAME FROM WHAT WE WENT THROUGH, UH, DURING THOSE TWO YEARS.

AND I KNOW THAT MANY OF THE FOLKS HERE AND ALL OF THE WORK THAT, THAT YOU ALL HAVE DONE, UM, TO KEEP THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY

[00:40:01]

SAFE, UM, IT'S BEEN STRESSFUL AND WE'RE DEALING WITH KIND OF THE, THE AFTERMATH OF THAT, BUT WE'VE NEVER BEEN SO WELL POSITIONED AS AN INDUSTRY TO DO LEAPS AND BOUNDS BECAUSE WE GOT TO TRY NEW THINGS.

IT WAS A MOMENT WHEN ALL THE BARRIERS WERE DOWN AND WE SAID, LET'S TRY THIS AND SEE IF THIS WORKS.

NONE OF US KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON WHEN COVID HIT.

NONE OF US HAD ANY CLUE WHAT WAS GOING TO LOOK LIKE TOMORROW OR A WEEK FROM THEN, OR A MONTH FROM THEN.

AND WE JUST STARTED THROWING THINGS AND SEEING WHAT STUCK AGAINST THE WALL.

AND SOMETIMES THAT'S WHEN INNOVATION HAPPENS.

AND I THINK BETWEEN THAT AND THE RECOGNITION OF THE COMMUNITY, THAT WHAT YOU ALL DO AS EMS PROVIDERS IS SO MUCH MORE THAN TAKING PEOPLE TO THE HOSPITAL.

YOU ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

YOU ARE OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY AND YOU ARE, YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO KEEP THIS COMMUNITY HEALTHY.

AND WE NEED TO RIDE THAT MOMENTUM AS AN INDUSTRY AND AS AN AGENCY TO BE STANDING OUT THERE AND TELLING FOLKS WHAT WE DO AND ADVOCATING FOR OURSELVES, AND THANK YOU TO, TO CAPTAIN A STEADMAN AND KATRIN CAPTAIN NOVAK FOR ALL THAT THEY DO, AND OUR PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE, TO TELL THAT STORY, TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THE GREAT THINGS THAT OUR EMS COMMUNITY IS DOING.

AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY IS PARTICULARLY WELL POSITIONED FOR THAT.

GIVEN THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT, GIVEN THE SUPPORT FROM CITY LEADERS, CITY, AND COUNTY LEADERSHIP, WE CAN DO THINGS HERE THAT NO ONE ELSE IN ACROSS THE COUNTRY CAN DO TO SHOW THEM WHAT A PROGRESSIVE EMS AGENCY CAN BE.

AND WE'VE ALREADY DONE IT.

WE JUST NEED TO KEEP PUSHING AND PUSHING AND PUSHING DR.

S SCOTT SHARED QUITE AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF SOME OF THE PROGRESSIVE THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING, BUT WE ARE WE'RE, WE'RE ON THE FOREFRONT OF MEDICINE.

HERE.

WE ARE TRULY, WE HAVE SOME OF THE GREATEST PROGRAMS, OUR COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAM, OUR C4 LINE, OUR, UM, UH, MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS, ALL OF THESE GREAT THINGS, THEIR SPECIAL OPERATIONS TEAM.

WE'RE DOING THINGS AND SAYING, HOW CAN WE DO THINGS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY? I DON'T WANT TO EMBARRASS MY FAMILY A LITTLE BIT HERE.

I APOLOGIZE, DAD.

UM, A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AFTER THEY GOT INTO TOWN, I GOT A PHONE CALL FROM MY FATHER SAYING THAT HE HAD, UH, FALLEN DOWN, HAD TRIPPED IN AND HURT HIMSELF AND ASKED IF I WOULD STOP BY THE HOTEL TO CHECK HIM OUT.

AND I WENT BY AND IT LOOKED LIKE HE MIGHT NEED A COUPLE STITCHES.

AND WE WERE KIND OF WORKING THROUGH ABOUT, WELL, HE DIDN'T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL.

DIDN'T WANT TO BE SITTING IN AN ER ALL DAY LONG.

AND I SAID, I GOT YOU, DAD.

IT'S FINE.

AND I CALLED UP DR.

S SCOTT AND THANK YOU TO TRAVIS BAKER.

WHO'S HERE.

I THINK I WAS ABLE TO COME AND, AND COME RIGHT TO THE HOTEL, STITCH HIM UP RIGHT IN HIS ROOM.

AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO DINNER.

WE DIDN'T MISS OUR RESERVATION.

WE'RE DOING COOL THINGS HERE IN AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR MY FATHER OR ANYONE ELSE IN THIS COMMUNITY IN ANY OTHER COMMUNITY WOULD HAVE BEEN A DAY LONG EVENT OF SITTING IN AN ER, SITTING IN A WAITING ROOM, WAITING FOR THAT TO BE DONE AND COMPLETELY DISRUPTED HIS SHORT TIME HERE IN AUSTIN.

WE'RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY AND MY FAMILY RECEIVED THAT CARE FIRSTHAND AND SAW THAT FIRSTHAND.

UM, AND IT'S PRETTY AWESOME TO BE ABLE TO SEE HOW THAT WORKS.

EMS WEEK'S THEME THIS YEAR IS RISING TO THE CHALLENGE.

WE TRULY HAVE THE BEST, MOST SELFLESS, DEDICATED CLINICIANS IN THE COUNTRY.

AND I KNOW THAT WITH ALL OF THE CHALLENGES AS DR S SCOTT ALLUDED TO EARLIER AHEAD OF US, WE ARE BETTER POSITIONED THAN ANYONE WITH THE WORKFORCE THAT WE HAVE AND THE TEAM THAT WE HAVE WORKING HERE.

AND I THANK ALL OF YOU THAT TOOK THE TIME TO JOIN ME HERE TODAY.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

WE'RE GOING TO DO REALLY GREAT THINGS.

WHEN WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE, I THINK TO MYSELF, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR US? AND I START IMAGINING THINGS, AND THAT'S SOMETHING NOT EVERY AGENCY CAN DO TO LOOK AND SAY, IMAGINE WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE IN THE FUTURE.

IMAGINE A FUTURE WHERE EMS IS ABOUT KEEPING PEOPLE OUT OF THE HOSPITAL INSTEAD OF TAKING TO THE HOSPITAL, IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE EMS IS ABOUT PREVENTING INJURY AND ILLNESS.

INSTEAD OF TREATING IT, IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE EMS IS JUST SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATED WITH THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM AND THE PUBLIC SAFETY SYSTEM.

AND ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE TOUCH AND BECOMES A HUB, A RESOURCE FOR ALL OF THIS OTHER AGENCIES, IMAGINE AN AGENCY, IMAGINE A TIME WHEN WE CAN FOCUS ON COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLBEING AND NOT AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

AND I SAY, WE DON'T HAVE TO IMAGINE THAT BECAUSE IT'S HERE WITH US TODAY HERE AT AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS, WITH ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT, THE 600 PLUS CMTS AND PARAMEDICS, WE'RE GOING TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES.

THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE FACING US.

WE KNOW THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE AN UPHILL BATTLE.

IN MANY WAYS, THE INDUSTRY IS DEALING WITH DIFFERENT ISSUES.

WE'RE GOING TO OVERCOME THOSE AND YOU ALL THE TEAM THAT WE HAVE HERE AT AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMS ARE GOING TO BE ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT IN HELPING NOT LEAD AUSTIN, THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY OUT OF IT, BUT BEING A MODEL FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY THAT CAN SHOW THE REST OF THIS COUNTRY, HOW WE'RE GOING TO LEAD OURSELVES THROUGH THESE ROCKY WATERS THAT WE'RE IN RIGHT NOW, THUS FAR, MY EXPERIENCES IMMIGRATE, I CAN'T SAY SHORT OF INCREDIBLE.

EVERYONE HAS BEEN SO GRACIOUS.

SO KIND TO ME FROM CITY LEADERSHIP TO FRONTLINE STAFF, TO EXECUTIVE COMMAND, THANK YOU FOR WELCOMING ME.

IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE AND AN HONOR, AND I CANNOT TELL YOU ENOUGH HOW HONORED I AM FOR, TO BE HERE

[00:45:01]

IN THE SHORT TERM.

I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING WHAT WE CAN DO WITH THIS ORGANIZATION.

AND QUITE FRANKLY, HOW HIGH WE CAN FLY AS AN ORGANIZATION.

AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK ALL OF MY FAMILY.

I WANT TO THANK ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO JOINED ME.

THE FOLKS FROM BOSTON CAME IN A LITTLE BIT LATE.

THANK YOU GUYS.

MY, MY COLLEAGUES FROM NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO JOIN ME.

MY FAMILY, MY MOTHER, MY FATHER, MY SISTER, AND MY BROTHER-IN-LAW MY PARTNER.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO, TO COME AND SPEND THIS WITH ME.

I'M REALLY, REALLY PROUD TO BE HERE.

I'M PROUD OF THIS EMS SYSTEM, AND I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SEE WHAT WE CAN DO IN THE FUTURE.

SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU, CHIEF.

IT TRULY IS AN HONOR TO WELCOME YOU HERE.

UM, I'M GOING TO HAVE YOU INDULGE US AND STAY HERE JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER.

I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN STANDING UP HERE FOR A WHILE, UM, BUT WE DO HAVE A LITTLE SURPRISE FOR YOU.

UM, I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE A VERY SPECIAL GUEST TO STATE REPRESENTATIVE VICKI.

GOOD.

ONE OF THE TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 47, WHO HAS JOINED US TODAY AND WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS, REPRESENTATIVE GOODWIN.

THANK YOU.

IT IS MY VERY GREAT HONOR TO BE HERE TODAY TO WELCOME YOU TO THE STATE OF TEXAS.

SO, SO FAR, EVERYBODY HAS MENTIONED AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

I'M A STATE REPRESENTATIVE, AND WE ARE SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE.

YOU KNOW, TEXAS IS THE FRIENDLY STATE.

AND SO OF COURSE WE CAN'T LET THIS OPPORTUNITY GO BY.

SO I HAVE SOMETHING TO PRESENT TO YOU.

WE HAVE A CERTIFICATE, UH, THAT SAYS ON BEHALF, ON BEING APPOINTED AS CHIEF OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, UH, THIS CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION RECOGNITION IS PRESENTED TO YOU, CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES FOR A SUCCESSFUL TENURE.

AND WE HAVE THE STATE OF TEXAS FLAG, WHICH WAS FLOWN OVER THE CAPITOL YESTERDAY IN YOUR HONOR.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR YEARS OF SERVICE.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HOW THINGS GO FORWARD, UH, YOUR SUCCESS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AND AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND, UH, CONGRATULATIONS.

THANK YOU.

REPRESENTATIVE GOODWIN.

IT'S BEEN AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU HERE, UM, AND THANK YOU FOR THE VARIOUS SPECIAL GUESTS OR GIFT FOR CHIEF.

UM, ON BEHALF OF OUR NEW CHIEF, THE CITY OF AUSTIN, AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, EMS, TRAVIS COUNTY, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY TO CITY MANAGER, CRUNK MAYOR ADLER, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER.

ARIANO DR.

S SCOTT COUNTY, COMMISSIONERS AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR TALENTED WORKFORCE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING SELECTION OF CHIEF LUKE RITZ TO LEAD US INTO THE FUTURE.

WE ARE SO EXCITED FOR WHAT'S TO COME WITH THAT.

THIS CONCLUDES OUR CEREMONY.

UM, AT THIS TIME WE'D LIKE TO INVITE EVERYONE INTO THE ATRIUM WHERE WE WILL HAVE SOME LIGHT REFRESHMENTS AND SOME CAKE, AND YOU ARE DISMISSED.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

YES,

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.