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Piland assumes EMS command

WINTON – In preparation for their new digs, the Hertford County EMT’s got a new Director last month.

Bobbi Piland, formerly of the Northampton County Emergency Services Department, was named as the Hertford County EMS Director on Sept. 18, according to County Manager Loria Williams.

&uot;We wanted to hire an individual whose skills were above and beyond the current service level of our county,&uot; Williams said. &uot;Piland was more than knowledgeable enough to help us move in the direction we wanted.&uot;

According to Williams, it was Piland’s extensive training experience, particularly as a paramedic, that made her such an attractive candidate.

Piland said that being a paramedic was indeed a job that she was well versed in.

&uot;I spent over 13 years in Northampton County training under the EMS Director there,&uot; Piland said. &uot;The past six years I’ve been a functioning paramedic.&uot;

Piland is the first person to assume control of the EMS department since the county was forced to segregate the department from the Emergency Management Division, which is headed by Charles Jones.

The Emergency Management Department is tasked with overseeing such issues as Homeland Security and the Fire Marshall’s office.

Piland’s hiring was beneficial as the county’s EMT’s moved into a new classification this year.

&uot;We (Hertford County) were a ‘D’ level service department last year,&uot; Piland stated. &uot;We now qualify as an EMT-I department.&uot;

The advancement to I level or ‘intermediate’ level for the county came after receiving a Duke Endowment designed to advance the EMS facilities in rural counties and after all 13 full time EMS employees received the necessary training in advance life support, cardiac emergency and trauma skills.

As a level II North Carolina certified instructor, Piland trained most of her new employees.

&uot;I’ve been teaching for about 15 years,&uot; Piland said. &uot;I’ve served as the Advanced Life Support Program Coordinator at RCCC for the past four years.&uot;

The Chowan College graduate, who lives in Conway with husband Ed and daughters Alicia and Meagan, said she has high expectations for Hertford County.

&uot;I’m hoping to beef up our training program,&uot; Piland said. &uot;As a rural area there are training modules that differ from larger regions, particularly due to our response time.&uot;

Piland said that although there is no sense of urgency, she would like to see the county eventually achieve ‘paramedic level’.

&uot;The staff here really has their act together,&uot; Piland said. &uot;We’ll take a little while to get accustomed to our current level of service, but we definitely want to improve what we offer the community.&uot;

Piland is also looking forward to the new EMS building scheduled to break ground next month.

&uot;We will be operating out of a mobile office trailer when construction on the new facility begins early November,&uot; Piland said. &uot;Everybody here is one big happy family; we’ll manage.&uot;