PSD Interview

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  1. What experience do you have with personnel management functions (i.e., hiring, training, assigning work, and completing performance evaluations)?
    • Since 2005 I have been responsible for the requisitioning of positions, selection and hiring of candidates, training them to the positions for which they were hired, evaluating their performance, and discipline and termination where required in the beach safety and EMS divisions.
    • I have managed the personnel functions of hundreds of employees over the years.
  2. What experience do you have with directing the management and operation of Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Communications Center and 911.
    • Chief, EMS Division, 2013 - Present
    • Chairman of the Emerald Coast Health care Coalition 2013-present
    • Chief, Beach Safety Division, 2005 - 2013
    • Captain, Training & Professional Standards / Beach Patrol, EMS Division, 2003 – 2005
    • Lead Paramedic / Shift Training and Compliance Officer / 1995 - 2003
  3. What experience to you have with directing the development and implementation of disaster emergency plans and emergency medical service plans.
    • I have over a decade of experience in the area.
    • As an EMS Captain in 2004 I administrated the ER and EMS COOP plan in response to Hurricane Ivan.
    • As the chief of Beach Safety I developed the division's first disaster emergency and COOP plans in 2005.
    • I implemented both plans in that year in response to Hurricane Dennis.
    • I implemented both plans again in 2008 for Hurricane Gustav.
    • The beach safety plans agreements have been updated several times over the years, but it is still in place.
    • In 2014 I updated the Okaloosa EMS emergency disaster and COOP plans as part of the annual CEMP review and update.
    • I am in the process of developing the ER & COOP for the ECHCC as a matter of strategic planning.
  4. What experience do you have in recommending, implementing and administering the department's budgets?
    • As the Chief of Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services, I have recommended, implemented, and administered the OCEMS budget since 2013.
    • The two most recent budgets were approximately $8.3 and 8.6 million.
    • I direct the measurement and analysis of financial performance measures and recommend and implement process changes based on the analysis.
    • I directly oversee the division’s expenditures, procurement of materials and equipment and monitor revenues.
    • As Chief of Okaloosa Beach Safety, I recommended, implemented and administered the Beach Safety budget from 2005 to 2013.
    • That budget ranged from $495 thousand to $700 thousand over that period.
    • In 2015 I recommended the FY16 budgets for both beach safety and EMS.
    • I also administrate the EMS Award Grant from the Florida Department of Health as well as other state and federal grant awards.
    • As the Chairman of the Emerald Coast Health Care Coalition, I direct the development and administration of the organization's annual budget, projection of shared revenues for the region ranging from revenues ranging from $7 to $11 million, and expenditure analysis. I also direct the development of policies governing the distribution of ASPR funding to regional hospitals.
  5. What experience do you have informing the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on department business.
    • I am very comfortable before the Board.
    • I have "walked the halls" to explain the implications of policy under consideration.
    • I have addressed the board on multiple agenda items over the years - from answering technical questions related to performance to bringing employees before the board for recognition.
    • I have drafted every agenda request brought before the board regarding the business of the divisions I managed.
    • I also view every board meeting I do not attend online.
  6. What experience do you have managing operational accounts, revenues and expenditures through coordination with the County Finance Office.
    • As the chief of beach safety and EMS I have worked directly with the finance office in the management of operational accounts for over a decade now.
    • I coordinate directly with the budget manager with regard to expenditures and ongoing account expenditure analysis.
    • I work with the billing contractor several times a year to develop revenue projections for budgeting purposes.
    • I have made several adjustments in the past two years based on the analysis resulting in substantial increases in collected revenue. FY16 cash is more than doubled from FY15.
    • I coordinated directly with accounts payable on procurement activities.
    • I work directly with grants and contracts in the administration of state shared revenues.
  7. What is your experience with Managing and monitoring billing service activity of the Emergency Medical Services Division?
    • As the Chief of Okaloosa County EMS I administrate the EMS Billing contract.
    • Medicare and Medicaid are billed under the contract terms; however, these require specific attention and oversight due to the detailed documentation regarding medical necessity, physician certification, and timely filing rules.
    • I have experience in developing and directing internal documentation processes and a clinical documentation improvement program that has resulted in compliance rates over 95% with ICD10 coding rules and  filing criteria. Resulting in higher collection rates.
    • As well, I am experienced in providing oversight to the billing and collections companies in special billing situations for hospitals related to Medicare / Medicaid reimbursement.
  8. Oversees beach activities. Declares State of Emergency and orders posting of Double Red Flags, when appropriate.
    • I was the chief of Okaloosa Beach Safety from 2005 to 2013. I am very comfortable overseeing the activities of the division.
    • Recommended State of Emergency declaration and posting of Double Red Flags and coordinated response from lifeguards, law enforcement, fire, and EMS
  9. Establishes and maintains communications with volunteers, health care, community service, response agencies and other resource groups. Conducts emergency preparedness and services education programs.
    • As the beach safety chief I developed the Okaloosa County Beach Safety school education program - Buddy the Dolphin; learn to swim programs, community CPR program, and the “you’re the lifeguard at home” drowning prevention program.
    • I sit on the BAS and Health Care Curriculum Development Committees for Pensacola State College and Northwest Florida State College.
    • As the EMS Chief, I work directly with the Okaloosa Health Department in the effort to promote hands only CPR through community education programs. I serve on the DOH CHIP tobacco council.
    • Directed emergency preparedness and agency education programs through the Emerald Coast Health Care Coalition.  As the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the ECHCC, I sign, implement and administrate the Health Care Coalition contract between the Florida Department of Health and the Coalition. I direct the analysis of hazards and preparedness gaps and approve and facilitate the preparedness and response training and exercises for health organizations throughout Region 1.
    • At the state level, I am also on the Florida HCC Taskforce. I participate in the development of healthcare coalition priorities, strategic planning, and I participate in the state-wide development and coordination of the Multi-Year Exercise Training Plan for HCCs throughout Florida.
  10. Evaluates policy effectiveness and emergency response and provides recommendations to the BCC and County Manager for modifications and improvements.
    • As the beach safety chief I recommended to the board a change to the beach safety response plan to include the addition of a main tower on the pier.
    • As the EMS chief I recommended an addition of a year-round ambulance in Destin to improve response times and close and potential response gaps that may develop.
  11. Seeks funding resources and manages procuring and monitoring of all state and federal grants for the department.
    • I recommend and administer the distribution of Healthcare Preparedness Program grants to healthcare organizations within the 10 counties of Florida Region 1.
    • I administrate the State EMS award grant annually.
    • I have applied for multiple state and federal grants over the years with good success.
    • I have collaborated with fire department partners on federal regional grants for equipment.
  12. Manages disaster operations at field sites.
    • I managed the department's beach safety response to the Deep Water Horizon incident in 2010.
    • Hurricane Ivan - 2004Hurricane Dennis - 2005Hurricane Katrina - 2005TD 10 - 2007Hurricane Gustav - 2008
    • Deepwater Horrizon - 2010
    • Dorcas Floods - 2011
  13. What experience do you have in the Management of the Emergency Operations Center in the event of disaster?
    • For the 12 years I have worked directly with multiple Emergency Service Functions in the Emergency Operations Center during disaster activations:
    • As the Chief of Okaloosa Beach Safety I participated in multiple EOC activations for hurricanes, Deepwater Horizon, and other declarations. I worked directly with Emergency Service Functions 4, 6,7, 8 and 13 during those events to coordinate health and rescue resources and activities. I continue in the same role as the EMS Chief.
    • Hurricane Ivan - 2004
    • Hurricane Dennis - 2005
    • Hurricane Katrina - 2005
    • TD 10 - 2007
    • Hurricane Gustav - 2008
    • Deepwater Horrizon - 2010
  14. Responds to emergency EMS calls.
    • I am a licensed paramedic in the state of Florida.
    • I can and do respond to emergency EMS calls.
  15. Oversees the County's animal control contract.
    • I have substantial experience in contract management as I described in the previous sections.
    • Okaloosa has contracted with PAWS for animal services for almost two decades.
    • The most recent contract with PAWS(10/14-10/15) was entered into in May 2014.
    • The agreed on cost for animal control services was $480 thousand annually ($120k quarterly).
    • An RFP for animal control services was issued in September.
    • A solution is expected by January.
    • The board extended the contract from 10/15 - 12/15 for $120k
  16. What is your experience with performance management?
    • I co-authored and edited the department's last formal strategic plan in 2009. Strategic objectives/performance for each division
    • In 2010 we moved to performance-based budgeting where the performance measures are stated with the line items in the budget document.
    • I've constructed PBB for each year in the beach and EMS divisions since 2010.
  17. What experience do you have with multiple agency coordination and agreements?
    • Coordinated with local hospitals through the Lifenet system
    • Local ALS fire departments through the ALS Fire Engine Partnership Agreements
    • Surrounding counties and military response agencies in mutual aid agreements,
    • Air-medical transport with Air Methods
    • Eglin Beach Lifeguard Assistance
    • Destin Beach Safety Mutual Aid
    • Medical Director Contract
  18. What challenges or trends are currently affecting EMS?
    • The reimbursement landscape in the future is uncertain
    • Complexity of Medicare/Medicaid
    • Integrated mobile healthcare
  19. What challenges or trends are currently affecting Beach Safety
    • Funding uncertainty
    • Measurable increase beach populations
    • Aging equipment and observation points
  20. What challenges or trends are currently affecting Emergency Management
  21. What challenges or trends are currently affecting 911/Communications
  22. How do you motivate your employees to perform?
    • What I have found effective is allowing for participation:
    • I set goals and objectives
    • I allow subordinates to develop strategies
    • I enable them to implement plans and simply provide monitoring and guidance
    • I encourage ownership in ideas, processes and ultimately products, then I recognize achievements
    • I try to include as many intrinsic motivators as operationally and financially possible
    • Opportunities for achievement
    • Recognition for any achievements
    • Professional development opportunities
    • Annual awards
    • Special recognitions and letters of commendation
    • Assignments to special teams or projects
  23. What mistakes have you made and how have you learned from them?
    • 2011 – Dead fish on the beach – I made a comment in the media – created opportunity for negative comments from some beach property owners – Darrel Jones counseled me – I learned not to speak to facts I do not command in the media.
    • 2015 – I allowed the death of an employee’s father to go unrecognized by the department - I allowed myself to be distracted by operational events and failed to be sympathetic the employee’s life-changing events – that failure reminded me that employees are my most valuable asset and recognition of their grief is the least I can do to support them during tragic events – I drafted a process for condolence and support for any future events to ensure employees are supported and reached out to.
  24. What are your strengths?
    • Foundational strengths:
    • I am honest and loyal
    • I am deliberate and decisive.
    • I know how to motivate people to perform and I work well with others.
    • I am good at building relationships 
    • I am committed to achievement and excellence.
    • Professional strengths:
    • I have a lifetime and a wide range of experience in this industry.
    • I understand the job and the greater implications of my actions on the community.
  25. What are your weaknesses?
    • I would like to engage more with employees.
    • I have in the past gotten lost in the work plan and have neglected to stop and engage with those carrying the plan out.
  26. What are your obligations to the Board and the County Administrator?
    • My obligation to the Board and CA is two-fold:
    • First is to ensure they do not have to attempt to solve complex problems based on misleadingly simple criteria.
    • Second is to, by virtue of good management of expertise, resources, and time, capture and maintain the public’s trust in the Department’s ability to protect their health, safety and welfare.
  27. Emergency Management Program Description
    • This program consists of an Emergency Management Division Chief, an Emergency Management Coordinator, and an Administrative Assistant.
    • The Division maintains the County Emergency Operations Center,a central command location for County emergency response and recovery efforts before, during, and after emergencies and disasters.
    • The Division assists with the logistics of disaster response and recovery operations
    • The division identifies potential threats and designs a long-term plan to prevent damages to individuals and property
    • Mitigation activities include public outreach through the Code Red system, shelter retrofits, increasing shelter space
  28. How is Emergency Management Funded?
    • Emergency Management Division is funded within the General Fund.
    • Supporting revenue of the General Fund are ad valorem taxes, state shared revenue, other miscellaneous revenue and transfers from other funds.
    • Total budget in FY16 is $353K; increased 1.4% from FY15
  29. What are the primary goals of the Emergency Management program?
    • Provide centrally located coordination efforts for Okaloosa County
    • Develop the disaster response skills and knowledge required for emergency situations through preparedness activities
    • Provide needed emergency response, planning, and training for emergency situations and NIMS/ICS programs.
    • Provide and maintain critical communication equipment and trained communications personnel to ensure disaster communication capabilities continue to be operable under the most severe conditions.
  30. What is the Program Description for 911 COMM/CWP program?
    • This program consists of a 911 Communications Division Chief; 4 Communications Supervisors, a QA Training Officer, 2 relief comm techs, and 10 full-time Communications Technicians. 18 people
    • The Fire and EMS Dispatch Program under the Department of Public Safety is responsible for dispatching emergency calls for 17 fire departments and EMS in all parts of Okaloosa County,
    • This program also provides county-wide radio system services and infrastructure for Fire and EMS response agencies.
    • It dispatches about 40K ems and fire call annually
    • It handles about 80K administrative calls annually.
  31. How is 911 COMM / CWP program funded?
    • County Warning Point is funded within the General Fund.
    • Supporting revenue of the General Fund are ad valorem taxes, communications service tax, local business tax, permits and fees, state shared revenue, charges for services, judgments and fines, miscellaneous revenue and transfers from other funds.
    • Budget for FY16 is $1,017,325; about a 2.5% increased over FY15
  32. What is the Program Description for 911 COMM/911 Coordinator program?
    • This program consists of a 911 Systems Coordinator, a 911 Addressing Coordinator and 4 911 Call Takers. 6 People
    • The 911 Coordinator Program under the Department of Public Safety is responsible for the efficient operation of the 911 System in accordance with Florida Statute 365.171 and the State E911 Plan.
    • The 911 Addressing Program is responsible for assigning addresses in accordance with Okaloosa County Property Numbering System Ordinance 91-06.  This position also maintains the special needs information in the 911 database. 
    • The 911 Call Takers are responsible for the initial answering of 911 calls in all parts of Okaloosa County (excluding the City of Crestview) and forwarding the calls to dispatchers of the appropriate agency. They provide call taking protocols and life safety instructions to callers to ensure the appropriate fire and/or EMS resources are dispatched.
  33. How is 911 Comm/ 911 Coordinator funded?
    • 911 Coordinator Program is funded within the E-911 Operations Fund. Supporting revenue of the E-911 Operations Fund are 911 wireless and non-wireless fees, charges for services, and miscellaneous revenue.
    • Total FY16 Budget is $1.7 million; about 11% reduction from FY15.
    • Expanding capabilities to next gen text to 911 in FY16; $125K
    • Currently holding a $613K reserve
  34. What is the Program Description for EMS/ALS Program?
    • This program consists of the Public Safety Director, EMS Division Chief, Office Supervisor, Program Technician (Billing Coordinator), 3 Shift Commanders, 3 Shift Training Officers, 33 full-time Paramedics, 33 full-time Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), 24 relief Paramedics, 24 relief EMTs, an EMS Supply and Logistics Supervisor, and a Supply Coordinator. 126 people
    • The EMS Division operates eleven (11) 24-hour Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances stationed throughout the county that respond to emergency calls and transport patients to medical facilities within and bordering Okaloosa County.
    • Florida Statutes Chapter 125.01 (e) gives the governing body of the county the power to provide ambulance service. This Division is authorized by the Board of County Commissioners under County Ordinance 93-45, and regulated by Florida Statutes Chapter 401 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64J.
  35. How is EMS funded?
    • Emergency Medical Services Division is funded within the Emergency Medical Services Enterprise Fund.
    • Supporting revenue are from ad valorem taxes, ambulance fees, charges for services, interest, other miscellaneous revenue and transfers in from state shared revenue.
    • FY16 budget of $8.6mil / $7.5 mil revenue and $1.1 mil in tax support
  36. What is the Program Description for EMS/BLS Program?
    • This program consists of 4 Emergency Medical Technicians.
    • Division operates two (2) 9- hour Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances stationed in the north and south county, responding to inter-facility transports of patients to medical facilities and nursing homes within and bordering Okaloosa County as well as out-of-county BLS transports.
    • Governed under the same statutory regulations as the ALS program.
    • Conducted 3500 interfacitlity transfers in 2015 / total 4000 BLS calls.
  37. What is the Program Description for the Beach Safety Program?
    • This program consists of 1 Beach Safety Division Chief, 1 Lifeguard Supervisor, 3 Senior Lifeguards, and 19 Seasonal Lifeguards. 24 people
    • The Beach Lifeguard Program provides year-round lifeguard protection, preventative oversight, heavy surf and rip current rescue services on the beaches and waterways of Okaloosa County in accordance with Okaloosa County Parks and Recreation Ordinance No. 08-06.
    • Division personnel raise and maintain the universal flag warning and signage system on Okaloosa County Beaches in coordination with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Beach Flag Warning Program as set forth in Section 380.276 F.S.S.
    • Department lifeguards make presentations and provide safety briefings to civic organizations, military organizations, church groups, and others. Posters, information cards and pamphlets, and videos are printed and distributed to local schools and universities during safety presentations conducted by senior lifeguard staff members.
    • The Swift Water and Flood Rescue program focuses on early warning, evacuation, and rescue of victims and potential victims of rising flood waters resulting from severe weather events in Okaloosa County.
    • The team is also deployable on a regional scale and can be mobilized to respond to disasters in surrounding counties on short notice.
    • conducted 150k preventative actions
    • trained 75 junior lifeguards
    • performed 90 rip current rescues
  38. How is Beach Safety Funded?
    • Beach Safety Division is funded within the General Fund; revenues are derived from the transfer of funds from the Tourist Development Enterprise Fund.
    • Total FY16 budget is $562K. increase of 8.3% over FY15
  39. Why have you applied for this job?
    • Because I believe I am at the place in my career where I can do it very well.
    • We all have events in our personal and professional lives, some fulfilling and others filled with disappointment, that ultimately prepare us for our purpose.
    • I believe service in the protection of this community is my purpose and I want to fulfill it to the extent of my potential.
    • I believe my life's experiences have prepared me for this moment.
  40. What makes you better than any of the other candidates.
    • I have the right character for this job.
    •    I am a good relationship builder
    •    I am emotionally intelligent
    •    People trust me
    • I have the right education for the job.
    •    paramedic
    •    advanced degree in public mgt
    • I have the right experience for the job.
    •    over 20 years in the industry
    •    over a decade of division mgmt experience
    • I am invested in this community and org
    • Okaloosa County has invested in me
    • No other candidates have my knowledge
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PSD Interview
2015-10-08 03:40:13

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