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Martins Ferry Reorganizes EMS Squad

Martins Ferry Mayor John Davies sits in on his first council meeting as mayor, announcing his intention to be available but not to micromanage.

MARTINS FERRY – Responsibility for overseeing emergency medical services in Martins Ferry will now fall to twice as many individuals, as the EMS coordinator and captain roles were dissolved Wednesday and those duties redistributed among four supervisor positions.

Council unanimously voted to implement the change after meeting behind closed doors for about 20 minutes to discuss personnel.

Council voted to suspend rules requiring three readings of proposed legislation in order to pass the resolution codifying the change immediately. President of Council Kristine Davis said the same duties would be handled by the individuals in the new roles, though their hours and titles would be different. The pay, she said, would not be substantially different, with the supervisors each receiving $16.25 per hour.

“It’s just a reorganization, it’s not cutting people’s jobs or anything like that,” Davis said.

The jobs were changed from full-time to part-time positions, as well.

City Safety Director Jack Regis Jr. said the workload was too much to ask of the one person who had been kept available at all hours.

“There was basically one supervisor or one captain who was on-call 24/7,” he said. “There was way too much work for one person to do, to expect one person to be responsible for that much. By creating multiple part-time supervisors, we’re saving one person from doing all the work, and we’re making sure we have people available to answer calls, covering shifts, in addition to their supervisory duties.”

Regis said the supervisors would be available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. Outside those hours, one of the on-duty EMTs would take over as a supervisor in charge.

“They’re not going to be, per se, a 40-hour employee, but there’s going to be supervisor availability. … Of course, our supervisors, the four individuals who have been chosen, they’ll be able to come out and help as well.”

The four supervisors are Jeremy Wendell, Dave Snyder Jr., Cody Goff and John Cika. Regis said Cika, Snyder and Wendell all previously served as EMS captains at some point in their careers.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first with Mayor John Davies at the helm.

Davies had been sworn in prior to the meeting, Davis said, and opened the session by saying he intended to be more available, if busy, compared to prior administration.

“I’ll have plenty to do myself … ,” Davies said. “I’m going to take a different approach to managing the city’s day-to-day events. We hired managers … so I’m not going to micromanage our departments. I’ll keep an eye on them, but not micromanage their day-to-day duties. They’re responsible for their positions. They know their positions, and if they’re not in that position, we’re going to have problems. But I’m here to work with you guys,” he said, addressing the gathered staff and audience. “My door’s always open. I’m here Monday through Thursday, 7-4. If you get here later on, I’ll be here later on, or whatever it takes to make it work.”

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