Veteran firefighter/paramedic is new NECCFD director

By Joshua Keeran -

NORTH LEWISBURG – Having operated without a director for a while, the Northeast Champaign County Fire District Board decided in May the best avenue going forward for the district and its taxpayers was to bring the position back into the fold. The individual chosen to fill the role – Jason Dotson – was introduced Monday during the August board meeting.

A longtime firefighter/paramedic, Dotson, who lives in Lexington, holds a law degree as well as a bachelor’s degree in business. He is a consultant with Ambulance Management Group (AMG) LLC.

“I do mostly EMS-related consulting, but I have done some fire-related consulting,” Dotson said while addressing district personnel in attendance. “My main business other than that is I buy and sell ambulance services.

“I think I’m kind of well-rounded to be able to speak the language on this side of the room (board members) and also the language on this side of the room (district employees) so everybody understands each other,” he added.

Hired by the board during a special meeting on Aug. 11, Dotson is employed by the district as an independent contractor.

Per the terms outlined in the 12-month contract that runs through July 31, 2017, AMG will provide consultation and various management functions at a cost of $2,000 per month. The contract states Dotson’s work will be performance- and task-based, so the district isn’t requiring him to report hours worked per month.

Board Chairwoman Cheryl Hollingsworth said Dotson was hired to help make the board a “smarter and more efficient group.”

Along with helping the board direct its goals, Hollingsworth added, Dotson will help the board understand its authority as outlined in the Ohio Revised Code, assist with budgeting operations and help fine tune board policies and standard operating guidelines.

Hollingsworth noted Dotson will assist the board in staying updated on the needs of district staff and the condition of district-owned apparatuses.

As for improving communications between the district and its taxpayers, Dotson will work to update the NECCFD web site and Facebook page.

“Jason looks to be somebody who is going to be a great asset to the department – the staff as well as the board – and to the community in general,” board member Bradley Herron (Woodstock) said.

In other business:

•Interim Operations Manager Sarah Page informed council the district received a donation of 10 pre-filled Narcan bottles valued at $400 from the Champaign Board of Health.

“This will help us in the fight against opioid fatalities,” she said. “It was a very generous gift from them.”

•During a special meeting held Aug. 11, the board approved purchasing the district’s propane for the 2016-2017 season from Earhart Propane at a cost of 87.9 cents per gallon.

•A motion was passed on Aug. 11 to purchase 10 Irulu Expro X1S tablets from eGreen Computers, Marysville, at a cost of $1,049.90. The purchase price includes three hours of setup/training.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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