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Five finalists named for EMS chief post

Thursday, January 6, 2022 by Amy Smith

City Manager Spencer Cronk has named five finalists to advance to a second round of interviews for the position of chief of Austin-Travis County Emergency Services. The national search produced 37 applications from candidates vying to fill the vacancy created last year with the retirement of former EMS Chief Ernesto Rodriguez.

The city manager and other executives will conduct internal interviews with the finalists this month. A community input meeting with the top finalists will be held Jan. 13, 6-7:30 p.m., in Council chambers at City Hall.

The five finalists are:

  • David Abrams, who has been EMS chief for Charleston County Government in South Carolina for six years. He also co-founded and operated a private advanced life support emergency medical service, worked in the corporate sector as an EMS director and was EMS director for the Medical University of South Carolina. A nationally registered paramedic since 1996, Abrams holds a law degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.
  • Jasper D. Brown has been interim chief of Austin-Travis County EMS since June 2021. Brown has worked in public safety for almost three decades, starting as a volunteer firefighter while studying criminal justice at Texas State University. He is a certified EMT and spent three years with an EMS system that provided 911 services in South Texas. Brown has been with Austin-Travis EMS since 1997, serving as a communications medic, commander, assistant chief of operations and chief of staff.
  • Robert Luckritz, chief operating officer of Transformative Healthcare, a multi-state EMS, medical transportation and public health organization in New England. Luckritz previously served as both the chief and executive director of Jersey City Medical Center EMS, the exclusive EMS provider for Jersey City, and medical 911 and paramedic provider for Hudson County.
  • William Sugiyama, former EMS division chief with the city of Oakland, Calif. Sugiyama has worked in both the public and private health care field for more than 30 years. During his tenure as president of the International Association of EMS Chiefs, he provided testimony to the White House National Security staff, the offices of the Vice President and the First Lady, the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and other federal offices. A licensed paramedic, Sugiyama holds degrees in nursing and homeland security as well as an MBA from Louisiana State University at Shreveport.
  • Jim Winham, president and chief executive officer of Emergency Medical Services Authority in Oklahoma City. Winham, who has over 37 years of working for several Oklahoma first-responder agencies, has served as CEO of Oklahoma City’s EMS Authority since 2017. He is responsible for a $76 million budget and 600 members. A former Tulsa firefighter/paramedic, Winham spent 10 years as a medic and flight nurse for Tulsa Lifeflight. He earned degrees in EMS and nursing from Tulsa Community College and Oklahoma City University, respectively.

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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