Brian J. Reed
POMEROY - Douglas Lavender has been named the new director of Meigs County Emergency Medical Services.
Meigs County Commissioners announced Lavender's appointment Friday after conducting second interviews with four applicants. Lavender replaces Gene Lyons, who retired this fall. He will begin work in his new position on Monday morning.
As director, Lyons will supervise 32 emergency medical staff members and administer a budget in excess of $1.1 million. The EMS operation receives funding from three one-mill levies and bills for transport and other emergency services.
Lavender has training in both medical and business fields. He attended Hocking College for training in paramedic and nursing, and received a degree in business from Ohio Valley University in Parkersburg, W.Va. He graduated from Southern High School in 1990.
He has worked for several years as both a volunteer and a full-time and part-time paid medic with the Meigs EMS, and is also employed as a registered nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg.
He has also worked as a flight nurse for a medical helicopter service.
As director of EMS, Lavender will supervise 32 staff members, and will help negotiate a contract with those staff members. Contract negotiations are now heading to mediation as the employees negotiate their first-ever union contract.
Lavender said he hopes to foster cooperation between volunteers and paid staff.
Lavender takes over the EMS department at a unique time. Meigs County voters approved a 50-cent monthly telephone line charge for 911 service, and although the service will be supervised and operated from the sheriff's department, the EMS will be closely tied to it, as emergency medical calls are dialed through 911.