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Sullivan legislators fail to appoint EMS coordinator

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MONTICELLO, NY — At a meeting at the government center on April 18, the Sullivan County Legislature failed to appoint a new emergency medical services (EMS) coordinator to replace the one who retired on January 1.

Alex Rau, the E-911 coordinator for Sullivan County, was named in the resolution as the proposed appointee. The resolution also called for the creation of three deputy EMS positions. 

The 911 Center has been under the command of the Public Safety Commissioner, although for a brief time in 2011, it was under the command of the Sullivan County Sheriff.

According to comments made by legislator Ira Steingart, there are ongoing discussions regarding command of 911 that figured into four of the legislators at the meeting voting no to the resolution.

Once the resolution was un-tabled from last month’s meeting, legislator Alan Sorenson said,  “I would like to understand why the appointments are being made and to better understand the creation of this position.”

Legislator Terri Ward said, “This position was in existence, and the reason that it’s happening is because it’s at the recommendation of our public safety commissioner [Rick Sauer].

Legislator Nadia Rajsz said, “But can we move slowly in order to understand more of this and understand the job description and where all this fits in?”

Legislator Joe Perrello said, “There’s a lot involved with the 911, EMS and, in my town, we have a police department, and my police department is concerned who’s in control of 911. We need to make sure that we have the right people in place in that position, and I need to know the pros, the cons and going forward with 911 the sheriff’s…”

Perrello was cut off by Ward who said, “With all due respect, Joe, this has nothing to do with 911, this is about EMS.”

Perrello responded, “Right, at this point, who knows what the title is going to be, if it’s all going to be under one package later on.”

Legislator Mark McCarthy said, “It seems that people who aren’t voting are getting ahead of themselves over a different issue, but this issue is to just fill these positions. It should be done, we do not have an EMS coordinator.”

Sorensen asked if there was an organizational chart available to show how the positions related to one another. Legislative chair Luis Alvarez said that a chart and job description were being created.

 Legislator Catherine  Owens was absent. The legislature voted four to four on the resolution, meaning it did not pass.

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