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What experience do you have with personnel management functions (i.e., hiring, training, assigning work, and completing performance evaluations)?
- Over a decade now beginning in the early 2000s as an EMS Captain conducting training and employee performance evaluations.
- As the Chief of two divisions:
- I have requisitioned positions,
- interviewed and hired for them,
- trained the employee,
- developed and assigned work plans.
- Demonstration of progressive responsibility throughout my career.
What experience do you have with directing the management and operation of Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Communications Center and 911?
- Emergency Management:
- Two decades of participation in EM activities
- Many real-world and exercise EOC activations at multiple responsibility levels
- Developed thorough understanding of the EM processes through planning and cooperative activities
- Paramedic for over 20 years
- Progressive responsibility throughout my career to the level of chief
- Record of excellence and achievement
- Direct operational link to 911 throughout my career
- Cooperative operational and administrative management
- Highly experienced in the administrative/management functions common to all
What experience to you have with directing the development and implementation of disaster emergency plans and emergency medical service plans?
- Administrated the ER and EMS COOP plan in response to Hurricane Ivan as an EMS Captain in 2004,
- Developed the division's first disaster ER and COOP plans in 2005 as chief of Beach Safety,
- Both plans were implemented in that year in response to Hurricane Dennis.
- Both implemented again in 2008 for Hurricane Gustav.
- Updated the Okaloosa EMS emergency disaster and COOP plans as part of the annual CEMP review and update in 2014.
- Maintain the response district and coverage plans for normal ops and disasters
- Developing the DER & COOP for the ECHCC as a matter of strategic planning.
What experience do you have in recommending, implementing and administering the department's budgets?
- I have recommended, implemented, and administered budgets in the department since 2004:
- The two most recent EMS budgets were approximately $8.3 and 8.6 million,
- Beach safety budgets ranged from $495 thousand to $700K.
- Directly oversee expenditures, procurement of materials and equipment,
- Monitor revenue as direct influencer of ad valorem support,
- Recommended the FY16 budgets for beach safety and EMS in 2015,
- Administrate the EMS Award Grant from the FDOH as well as other state and federal grants through the budget processes
- I direct the measurement and analysis of operational performance measures and recommend and implement process changes as a function of PBB
- Direct the development and administration of the organization's annual budget,
- Project shared project and base revenues for the region ranging from $7 to $11 million,
- Direct the development of policies governing the distribution of ASPR funding to regional hospitals.
What experience do you have managing operational accounts, revenues and expenditures through coordination with the County Finance Office?
- Worked directly with the finance office in the management of operational accounts for over a decade:
- Coordinate directly with the budget manager with regard to expenditures and ongoing account expenditure analysis,
- Work with the billing contractor several times a year to develop revenue projections for budgeting,
- 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.
- Coordinate directly with purchasing and accounts payable on procurement activities,
- Work directly with grants and contracts in the administration of grant revenues and expenditures related to contracts, leases and other agreements.
What experience do you have informing the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on department business?
- I am very comfortable before the Board and with its parliamentary processes.
- I have "walked the halls" to explain the implications of policy under consideration.
- I have addressed the Board, TDC, and CAO on multiple issues 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 view every board meeting I do not attend in person online.
What is your experience with managing and monitoring billing service activity of the Emergency Medical Services Division?
- I administrate the EMS Billing contract:
- Medicare and Medicaid are billed under the contract terms; however:
- Requires specific attention and oversight due to the detailed documentation regarding medical necessity, physician certification, and timely filing rules.
- Experienced in developing and directing internal documentation processes:
- Directed the development of a clinical documentation improvement program resulting in compliance rates over 95% with ICD9 coding rules and CMS filing criteria,
- Resulted in measurably higher collection rates in 2015.
- Experienced in providing oversight to the billing and collections companies in special billing situations for hospitals related to Medicare / Medicaid reimbursement.
What experience do you have seeking funding resources and managing procurement and monitoring of all state and federal grants for the department?
- Recommend and administer the distribution of Healthcare Preparedness Program grants to healthcare organizations within the 10 counties of Florida Region 1.
- Administrate the State EMS award grant annually.
- Applied for multiple state and federal grants over the years with good success.
- Collaborated with fire department partners on federal regional grants for equipment.
What experience do you have with oversight of beach activities, declaring states of emergency and ordering the posting of Double Red Flags?
- 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.
What experience do you have with establishing and maintaining communications with volunteers, health care, community service, response agencies and other resource groups? Conducts emergency preparedness and services education programs?
- Beach Safety:
- Developed the OCBS school education program – Buddy the Dolphin; learn to swim programs, community CPR program, and the “you’re the lifeguard at home” drowning prevention program.
- On the BAS and Health Care Curriculum Development Committees for Pensacola State College and Northwest Florida State College.
- Work directly with the Okaloosa Health Department in multiple cooperative activities
- Provide medical training and response oversight to volunteer fire departments
- Cooperate in the ALS FD Partnership agreement
- Voting member of the OCFRO
- Active membership in local hospital Stroke and Cardiac committees
- Directed emergency preparedness and agency education programs
- 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.
- Florida HCC Taskforce:
- Development of healthcare coalition priorities, Strategic planning, State-wide development and coordination of the Multi-Year Exercise Training Plan for HCCs throughout Florida.
What experience do you have in evaluating policy effectiveness and emergency response and providing recommendations to the BCC and County Manager for modifications and improvements?
- Two specific examples:
- Recommended to the board a change to the beach safety response plan to include the addition of a main tower on the pier.
- Recommended an addition of a year-round ambulance in Destin to improve response times and close and potential response gaps that may develop.
- Both cases have been yielded very helpful in improving emergency response.
What experience do you have managing disaster operations at field sites?
- I managed the department's beach safety response to the Deep Water Horizon incident in 2010.
- Hurricane Ivan - 2004
- Hurricane Dennis - 2005
- Hurricane Katrina - 2005
- TD 10 - 2007
- Hurricane Gustav - 2008
- Deepwater Horrizon - 2010
- Dorcas Floods - 2011
- Multiple exercises locally, regionally, and state wide.
What experience do you have with oversight of the County's animal control contract?
- Substantial experience in contract management
- 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
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.
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
- Baker Act Contract
16. What challenges or trends are currently affecting EMS
- The reimbursement landscape in the future is uncertain
- Complexity of Medicare/Medicaid
- Integrated mobile healthcare
What challenges or trends are currently affecting Beach Safety
- Funding uncertainty
- Measurable increase beach populations
- Aging equipment and observation points
What challenges or trends are currently affecting Emergency Management?
- Terrorism Preparedness
- Whole community approach to bio, tech, and natural threats
19. 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
What mistakes have you made and how have you learned from them?
- 2011 – Dead fish on the beach
- 2015 – I allowed the death of an employee’s father to go unrecognized
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
- I am emotionally intelligent
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.
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, by virtue of good management of expertise, resources, and time, is to capture and maintain the public’s trust in the Department’s ability to protect their health, safety and welfare.
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:
- Florida 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 intimate knowledge of this department
- I have direct knowledge or experience of every requirement in the job description
- For these reasons, I know I will succeed if given the opportunity.
25. Why have you applied for this job?
- We all have events in our personal and professional lives, some fulfilling and others filled with disappointment, which ultimately prepares 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 get tremendous professional and personal satisfaction in performing my public safety duties
- I can do more for more people at progressive levels
- I believe my life's experiences have prepared me for this moment - the next level
- I have no doubt that I am at the place in my career where I can do the job you are considering me for very well.