County Executive Barry Glassman is pleased to announce the establishment of the Harford County Emergency Medical Services Standards Advisory Board and the appointment of the Board’s inaugural members. The EMS Standards Advisory Board will make strategic recommendations to support high quality emergency medical services in the county and plan for future needs. The all-volunteer board is comprised of five members with expertise from the medical, EMS and business communities, and the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association. The Board will be advisory to County Executive Glassman and report directly to Harford County Director of Emergency Services Edward Hopkins.
County Executive Glassman has charged the Board with making recommendations on the following:
Providing for and supporting high quality emergency medical services;
Strategies for efficient and effective services delivery, training and quality assurance;
Suggesting methods for billing and the collection of fees.
The EMS Standards Advisory Board will issue quarterly reports to the county executive and to the director of Emergency Services. The director will have the ability to create sub-committees to address specific issues as they arise.
Establishment of the Harford County EMS Standards Advisory Board is the last of three related steps outlined by County Executive Glassman in his January 2017 State of the County Address. The other two actions, already completed, are creation of a dedicated medical director to oversee patient care, and budgeting for the first county-owned and staffed “surge” ambulances. This ambulance team will activate to meet surges in demand, and complement services now provided by volunteer fire companies and the Harford County Fire and EMS Foundation. While assuring citizens that existing services meet the accepted standards, County Executive Glassman announced this measured approach to continue delivering timely, high quality services while responding to the county’s changing needs over time.
“As a former volunteer fire fighter, and VFC president, I know that when our citizens call out for emergency services, Harford County’s first responders want nothing more than to deliver the best possible care. As county executive, it is my responsibility to ensure that our system is sustainable and can meet our future needs. Therefore, in addition to establishing initial protocols for our county-owned surge ambulances, the EMS Standards Advisory Board will work with our medical director, Department of Emergency Services’ staff, and various emergency service providers in the field to begin our long-term plan to support and strengthen future EMS services in the county,” County Executive Glassman said. “I would like to thank these five outstanding volunteers for helping Harford County to uphold our tradition of delivering quality emergency services when citizens need us most.”
John W. Donohue will chair the Board. Mr. Donohue has more than 35 years of professional experience in emergency services, including 34 years at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS), where he was, most recently, the director of Interagency Incident Planning and Response. Now serving as the deputy director of Emergency Services for Cecil County, Mr. Donohue is a certified paramedic whose current appointments include chairing the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III Advisory Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he was the first graduate of the Emergency Health Services Program. He is currently a master’s degree candidate in that program.
David Hexter, MD, MPH, FACEP, is board certified in emergency medicine and has served for more than a decade as a member of the Maryland Emergency Medical Services Board. His career includes service as the chairperson of two departments of emergency medicine and as medical director at the Social Security Administration, where his duties included emergency response planning. A Harford County resident, Dr. Hexter is currently the physician-in-chief for Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group’s Baltimore Service Area. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and research fellowship in emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University.
Tami Wiggins has more than 23 years of experience in Harford County’s Department of Emergency Services. She is currently the manager of the Training and Quality Assurance Branch and has spoken nationally and internationally to emergency professionals as an expert on personnel management, dispatch protocol procedures and quality assurance. She was integral to the county’s 911 Communication Center becoming the nation’s first Tri-Accredited Center of Excellence. She has been active in the volunteer fire and EMS services for more than 30 years, with experience as a provider of basic and advanced life support. Ms. Wiggins will manage the county’s new eight-member paramedic team and ambulance unit.
William J. Dousa Jr. has held several leadership positions within the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, which recommended him to the county executive as its representative on the Board. Mr. Dousa has served the citizens of Harford County for more than 48 years as a volunteer fire fighter, advanced life support provider and administrator. He is a life member of both the Abingdon and Joppa-Magnolia VFCs where he also held numerous leadership positions. He served seven years as chairperson of the Maryland State Firemen’s Association Emergency Services Committee and was the organization’s Fire Fighter of the Year in 1989, the Josiah A. Hunt EMS Person of the Year in 2008, and is a Hall of Fame member. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and is retired after 50 years with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.
Lawrence A. Richardson Jr., Esq. is a Harford County resident with more than 30 years of experience working with business and government agencies in Maryland and Washington D.C. He is currently the vice president of government affairs for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and served for two decades as a government affairs representative for State Farm Insurance in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Mr. Richardson graduated cum laude from the University of Baltimore with a B.A. in political science/government and public administration and earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore.
The EMS Standards Advisory Board will begin work at its first meeting, which will be scheduled later this month.