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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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EMS Chief Ernie Rodriguez retiring
Friday, May 21, 2021 by Jo Clifton
After 15 years of service to the city, Emergency Medical Services Chief Ernie Rodriguez is retiring at the end of May. Rodriguez was on hand at Thursday’s virtual City Council meeting to hear Council Member Alison Alter, on behalf of Mayor Steve Adler, proclaim May 16-22 as Emergency Medical Services Week. Rodriguez has served as EMS chief for the past 13 years and was deputy chief for the two years prior to that. Alter praised Rodriguez and the EMS for their lifesaving services during the Covid-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri. City Manager Spencer Cronk thanked Rodriguez for his dedication to the city of Austin and Travis County and for “revolutionizing the EMS profession over the time that you’ve been here. You’ve been a remarkable leader who’s really leaned into the innovation and the commitment to serving our residents.” Mayor Steve Adler said, “There’s been a remarkable change in the EMS during your tenure and I want to express my personal appreciation as well.” According to a memo from Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano, Rodriguez improved working conditions and work schedules for his employees, created innovative response programs to address unique challenges, including the motorcycle medic program and the paramedic and mental health crisis teams. Rodriguez was twice named administrator of the year by the Texas Department of State Health Services and EMS manager of the year by the National EMS Management Association. Assistant EMS Chief Jasper Brown has been appointed as interim chief.
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