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South County EMS

EMS boss pick accepts, then turns down job

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It seemed things were steadily moving along for the launch of the South County Emergency Medical Service, then the Board of Oversight’s pick for director turned down the job.

After agreeing to a $63,000 salary, William Travis of Leyden turned down the director position he was offered by the Board of Oversight to lead the new regional paramedic ambulance service for Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland. The towns planned for a April 1 launch of the service.

Travis’ decision came as a surprise. On March 7, the board interviewed Travis and Zachary Smith of Deerfield for the job and later offered Travis the position. Sunderland Fire Chief and board member, Robert Ahearn, said last Thursday the board had reached a tentative agreement with Travis, who accepted the offered salary. Then on Sunday, Travis declined the job, citing personal reasons, Ahearn said. Travis could not be reached for comment Monday.

Travis was a former general manager of Baystate Health Ambulance and currently serves as a paramedic with Action Ambulance Service of Pittsfield and Village Ambulance Service of Williamstown.

It now leaves open the possibility that the second candidate, Smith, could be offered the job.

Smith is a paramedic and 13-year veteran of Deerfield’s ambulance service and a Sunderland police officer.

Ahearn said the board may consider Smith again, but the board would talk specifically about what to do next at its Thursday meeting at 7 p.m. in the Sunderland Public Safety complex.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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