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Rhome narrows first-responder choices to three

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, April 13, 2013

After reviewing a dozen applications for a newly created EMS first responder position for the city of Rhome, the city council has narrowed the pool to three.

“Some were good, some were way too good, and some weren’t good enough,” said Mayor Chris Moore after he and council spent about an hour reviewing applications in closed session Thursday night.

The council now plans to interview the three potential candidates. The process will begin 6:30 p.m. Wednesday during a special called session at Rhome City Hall. The interviews will take place in closed session.

“The council is making the decision on who to pick,” Moore said. “I’ll just be there to ask any questions the council doesn’t ask.”

Two months ago the council voted 3-1 to create the post. Council members Chris Graves, Cole Blanche and Michelle Pittman voted for the measure while Jo Ann Wilson voted against, and Louis Godfrey abstained.

The job description says the first responder will respond “to all calls within the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department service area needing emergency and non-emergency medical treatment or care” and offers a detailed list of additional tasks.

The position will pay $30,000 to $35,000 salary, plus benefits. The person will be stationed at the fire department. The council decided to create the position after having problems with the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department responding to daytime emergency calls on weekdays.

With most volunteers working in the Metroplex during the week, they had trouble staffing emergency calls made during those times. Some calls have gone completely unanswered.

The council created the position to improve emergency coverage. They also created an incentive program where volunteer firefighters can receive small stipends for responding to calls and working shifts in hopes of increasing volunteerism in the department.

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