Manatee County Public Safety announces new EMS Chief James Crutchfield

Manatee County Public Safety announces new EMS Chief James Crutchfield
Posted on 10/10/2019

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Oct. 10, 2019) – James Crutchfield, who launched and has led the County's successful Community Paramedic program in 2016, has been named Chief of Emergency Medical Services.

The Community Paramedic Division will now fall within EMS, allowing the Public Safety Department to focus its efforts in both pre-hospital emergency medicine and preventative healthcare for patients in need.

Acting Public Safety Director Jacob Saur said it was a clear-cut decision to ask James to oversee the Emergency Medical Services Division.

"James has demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision during his time as the Chief of Community Paramedicine as well as a past supervisor within the EMS Division," Saur said. "The Community Paramedic program was the first Community Paramedic Program in Florida to have a true multi-disciplinary team approach it it has proven to be a great resource for many local patients."

"I am honored to lead a group of great individuals," Crutchfield said. "We (EMS) are a powerhouse of resources and knowledge for the community. I look forward to future community collaboration and working in partnership with hospitals, primary care groups, fire departments, law enforcement and other prehospital providers improve our local healthcare system. Through our combined effort we are able to provide the right care for our community."

The Community Paramedicine Team has graduated more than 400 patients since 2016. It has also diverted nearly 1,200 ambulance trips and loaned more than 285 pieces of durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and hospital beds. The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is now reviewing the Community Paramedic Program to evaluate the processes and overall successes of the program.

USF has measured cost savings $3.5 million through their evaluation process.

Because of his success, James has gained recognition from the State of Florida Department of Health and the Bureau of Emergency Medical Oversight which is the state EMS regulating authority. He received the 2018 EMS Injury Prevention Award, serves as the co-chairperson for the Florida EMS Advisory Council’s Access to Care Committee and a board member for Manatee County’s Health Alliance and is active in many local health collations.

“James will serve the EMS Division well and I am excited with what the future holds for our department,” said Saur.

James brings past experience from Catawba County EMS in North Carolina and holds a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Medical Care from Western Carolina University.

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