‘I promise to involve employees in the selection of the new director,’ Sedgwick County manager Stolz says in message to employees

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SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz announced on Monday that Dr. John Gallagher, then EMS Director, was placed on administrative leave with pay effective July 19. On Wednesday, Stolz announced an interim EMS director would be named as soon as possible. Deputy Director Paul Misasi and EMS Colonel Bill Robben would be managing EMS operations temporarily.

On Thursday, Stolz shared a message with county employees addressing the recent developments and replacement plans. The message is shared in its entirety below with his cellphone number redacted.

“Good morning to you all, as an ex-third shifter I often times work some strange hours.

Thank you for the service you provide to this county.  All our citizens, my family and I depend on you.  Thanks to those who met with me on April 26 and 28 and those that met with the Hite and Fanning attorneys who conducted the outside analysis.  Information in those sessions was valuable to make help me the changes necessary to do what I did this week. I wish I would have reached out to you sooner and made public comment today indicating this.  I thanked Commissioner Howell for getting those April meetings arranged. I hope you give me another chance.

I have several asks of you when you get time:

  • You should have received an email I sent to all employees regarding steps forward from this point.  First and foremost on the list is to get an interim director named as soon as possible.  I would like to hear your comments in this regard if you feel like sharing a name of someone in the organization who you would prefer to lead us until a new permanent director is named.  Feel free to email (I will not share) or privately text me on my cell phone (REDACTED).  Or, feel free to stop by my office or call me during business hours.  You are always welcome 24/7. 
  • I promise to involve employees in the selection of the new director.  Any of you who want to be involved WILL be involved.  I would like to hear your thoughts on how we can facilitate that.
  • Dr. Pereira will serve as Medical Director until she leaves in September.  I know many of you have spoken out against her, but please work with her for a few more weeks until we get a new medical director component contracted.  I would like your opinions if you feel another full time OMD should be hired or if we should look at other options. 
  • I would like your thoughts regarding the future EMS advisory board we are going to name and what you think the exact make up of that board should be.

I would like us to look forward and put the past behind.  Let’s focus on the immediate future and long term – to be positive and speak of good change in the organization.  This will help us with recruiting efforts moving forward.  All of you are leaders. I hope some of those who left in the last few months because of leadership will consider rejoining us.  Please forward this email to any of those you know who may be considering this.  We can work better as a team — my office stands ready to get EMS what it needs to succeed. 

Thank you for your time in reading this and please be safe out there.”

Stolz’s message was also posted on the Sedgwick County EMS Advocates Facebook page.

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