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Early named new director of OCEMS

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By Drew Nichter

Oldham County Emergency Medical Services has a new director.

Todd Early, a 25-year EMS veteran, took over leadership of the agency Monday.

He has worked for OCEMS in a part-time supervisory role for the last five years.

Early was introduced to Oldham Co. Fiscal Court Tuesday.

“We’ve got a lot of distance we need to cover,” Early told Judge-Executive David Voegele and magistrates.

Early replaces Jamey Locke, who has served as interim director for OCEMS since July when the agency came under the management of Baptist Hospital Northeast, now Baptist Health La Grange.

Locke is the director of Mercy Regional EMS in Paducah, which is also operated by Baptist Health.

County officials outsourced management of OCEMS to the hospital last year to alleviate financial concerns faced by the agency.

OCEMS is now funded through a public partnership with the Oldham Co. Ambulance tax district and Baptist Health La Grange which collects insurance payments for EMS services.

In July, OCEMS employees were asked to reapply for their positions. Most were rehired at their same rate of pay.

They joined the hospital’s health care, retirement, paid time off and tuition reimbursement programs in January.

Baptist Health La Grange President Chris Roty said the hospital’s management has brought stability to OCEMS after a few tumultuous years.

Naming Early as full-time director will add to that stability, Roty said.

Early identified four goals for OCEMS to achieve under his leadership:

• An emphasis on taking care of county residents;

• Increased community involvement, specifically in working with other emergency management agencies;

• Improved medicine through technology; and

• An emphasis on fiscal responsibility.

“The bottom line is resources and ... getting the most you possibly can out of what resources you’re given,” Early said.

Prior to joining OCEMS part-time, Early served with EMS and the Fire Department in Louisville and Jefferson County for 15 years. He also served as the chief of Shelby Co. EMS for five years.

Early is also a registered nurse.

Email us about this story at: drew@oldhamera.com.