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New EMS administrator named

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Randall Preuninger, a current supervisor with Wise County Emergency Medical Services, was named the administrator of the department Monday, replacing Charles Dillard, who is retiring April 30.

County commissioners made the hire at the recommendation of a committee that included County Judge J.D. Clark, Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty, Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell and Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns.

Clark originally planned to post the job but did not after Preuninger was the overwhelming favorite via numerous recommendations. Dillard recommended Preuninger for the post when he and Clark discussed Dillard’s upcoming retirement and the future of the department.

“I filed that away in my head. Then we got together with the committee, and Jeff and Cody made the same recommendation based on their experiences working with (Randall) on scenes and on issues,” Clark said. “I thought that was interesting, and then I reached out to the EMS employees … this packet is all letters from the EMS employees encouraging us to promote from within and specifically, Randall.”

Clark said the EMS medical director, Dr. Roger Leighton, also recommended Preuninger.

Preuninger has 17 years of experience in the fire, EMS and police fields combined. He is a licensed peace officer and certified firefighter, and he has worked full time for Wise County EMS since July 2010. He is also fire chief of the Bowie Rural Volunteer Fire Department and is president of the Montague County Firefighters Association.

“Randall has been a supervisor for several years. He makes good decisions and is able to handle shifts,” Dillard said. “He handles day-to-day operations and has always been good about doing anything we need and taking on extra tasks.

“He’s always taking a lead in just about anything we’ve asked him to do.”

Doughty told commissioners “you can’t ask for a better person.”

“(Randall) has that rapport built with the volunteer firefighters and fire departments where they trust him and they know him. They know how he operates,” he said. “Wise County EMS is very aggressive and progressive, and I think he will continue that. If we brought someone in from the Metroplex or outside our area who doesn’t know our protocols, I think we would revert back to a less aggressive EMS operation.”

Clark agreed, saying the committee agreed “we have a great EMS department.”

“It doesn’t need a culture change. It doesn’t need to have the cart toppled over and all that,” he said. “That’s why it was attractive to us to have someone in-house who was ready to continue that.”

Commissioners unanimously approved hiring Preuninger.

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