Two finalists for director of South County Emergency Medical Service will be interviewed Friday

Last modified: Thursday, March 06, 2014
SOUTH DEERFIELD — A full-time paramedic from Deerfield and a paramedic from Action Ambulance Service Inc. of Pittsfield are finalists for director of the new South County Emergency Medical Service.

The South County EMS will interview Zachary Smith of Deerfield and William Travis of Leyden at 6 p.m. Friday in Deerfield Town Hall. From 6 to 7, local emergency medical technicians and the public will interview the candidates. From 7 to 8, the Board of Oversight will interview them.

It has not been determined whether the board will choose a director that night.

Whoever is chosen will have the responsibility of ushering in the state’s first 24/7 inter-municipal paramedic ambulance service for the towns of Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland. From the start, the director will be responsible for managing the $749,595 budget and hiring a staff of four full-time paramedics and four EMTs.

The two candidates were recommended by a screening committee from a list of 12 applicants for the job which will pay between $60,000 and $65,000 annually.

Roots in Deerfield

Smith has worked in Deerfield since he was certified as a basic EMT when he was 18, over a decade ago. Smith is a paramedic now.

“I’ve been with Deerfield for quite some time,” Smith said. “I love it here. I’m really excited to see this new service grow and become something incredible. I’d like to be a part of that.”

Working in both urban and rural settings, Smith brings extensive experience and training from law enforcement, paramedic and emergency management.

On the local level, Smith has served as paramedic, ALS coordinator and assistant emergency manager for the town of Deerfield since 2001. He is one of three full-time employees of the town’s EMS department.

In addition, Smith has served as a police officer for Sunderland since 2007.

Smith also has emergency management experience on the federal level. Since 2003, he has worked as a paramedic/security officer for the Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team, where he is responsible for team physical and personal security during federal deployments to man-made and natural disasters. Most recently, Smith was deployed to Washington, D.C., for the president’s State of the Union address and to New York City for Hurricane Sandy relief in 2012.

Smith also has experience in education. Since 2003, Smith has worked as a tactical/SWAT medicine instructor for STS Consulting in Chicopee, where he provides nationwide consultation and education to emergency responders for tactical situational responses.

Smith also has worked at Greenfield Community College as an adjunct professor for the paramedic program since 2011.

20 years as paramedic

Travis has more than 20 years of experience as a paramedic.

“I love patient care as a paramedic and I love leading EMS. This position is a combination of both,” Travis said.

Travis has worked as a full-time paramedic for Action Ambulance Service in Pittsfield since September. He also works as a per-diem paramedic for Village Ambulance Service in Williamstown.

In 1997, Travis was honored as the Franklin County EMT of the Year by the Western Massachusetts EMS Save awards.

Before that, Travis worked for Baystate Health Ambulance from 1990. He served as an EMT and paramedic for several years until moving up the ranks in 1999 as operations manager in Greenfield. In that role, he was responsible for administrative work such as payroll, fleet operations, maintenance, training and education and disaster preparedness.

From 2005 until 2009, Travis served as operations manager for Baystate Health Ambulance in Greenfield and Springfield. Later, until 2013, he served as acting general manager, overseeing all aspects of the Springfield-based company.