County hires new EMS director

  • Friday, June 20, 2014

Berkeley County officials announced Thursday that Steven Cotter will head up the county’s EMS operations.

The appointment comes on the heels of a two-month search for a new department director. Cotter’s expected start date is July 21.

Emergency Medical Services Director Bob Mixter served in the position for 10 years, and submitted his resignation — effective immediately — March 18.

Cotter is the former head of Emergency Medical Services at Piedmont Hospital in Rock Hill. He has also directed EMS operations for Sedgwick County, Kansas, and Laurens County, and was a shift commander in Greenville County.

“In his previous position, he redesigned deployment processes to help increase coverage and reduce response times. Although we have one of the best EMS programs in the state, we are excited about the ideas he will bring to help the department run more efficiently and provide expanded services to our citizens,” county Supervisor Dan Davis said.

The county released these highlights of Cotter’s performance outcomes:

• Reducing labor operating costs by redesigning the department’s ambulance scheduling processes.

• Redesigning the ambulance deployment process resulting in:

- an aggregate increase in ambulance coverage capability from 79 to 95 percent of peak call demand

- a reduction in the amount of deployed ambulance unit hours by 3370 hours resulting in a $236,000 decrease in ambulance deployment costs

- and, a reduction in county wide average response times of two minutes and 14 seconds (2012).

• Reducing annual employee turnover rates from 38 percent in 2010 to 8 percent in 2013.

• Reducing work related injuries by 52 percent through 2012.

• Increasing return of circulation for cardiac arrest patients from 9 to 33 percent and survival to discharge from 2 to 14 percent (2012).

Under Cotter’s leadership, the Emergency Medical Services department at Piedmont Medical Center was named a 2014 Nicholas Rosecrans award recipient by JEMS Magazine, which recognized their “Safe Kids” program designed to reduce injuries in children. In Spring 2013, Piedmont Medical Center named Cotter, Leader of the Quarter.

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