LANCASTER, Wis. — After struggling to locate a candidate to manage a southwest Wisconsin ambulance service, representatives of the regional fire district have opted to re-advertise the position.

Lancaster EMS, a volunteer agency that provides emergency services to the city and nearby townships, hopes to hire a full-time paid director within a few months.

“It’s very important for us to have the right candidate in this position,” said Lancaster Fire Chief Steve Braun, who also serves on the Lancaster EMS Board.

The position was first proposed to the Lancaster Common Council in January 2018 and advertised earlier this year. But after reviewing four applications, the EMS board did not recommend any candidates for hiring.

Locating qualified employees is a challenge for any service organization, particularly in rural areas such as Lancaster, Braun said.

But the organization, whose roster includes about 30 volunteers, faces the retirement of Lancaster EMS Chief Jackie Edge, who is filling in until a director is hired.

“I am ready to slow down a little bit, but we want the best candidate to run our organization,” she said. “We don’t want to pick just anybody.”

The EMS board determined that hiring a full-time staff person is necessary to oversee the service. Duties include personnel management, quality assurance, equipment stocking and billing.

“It’s just too overwhelming of a job for a person to do on a volunteer basis,” Braun said.

The Lancaster EMS board hoped to secure a candidate with at least an advanced EMT level of certification, but now will accept candidates whose status is at the basic level.

“We felt for this particular position having somebody with administrative experience — managing an organization — was more important than the advanced medical certification,” Braun said. “That is our hope that it will open the pool to additional people.”

The director will be a city employee with salary and benefits and overseen by Braun.

Wisconsin statute requires townships to provide EMS service for residents or contract with a provider, which can include volunteers, fire departments, hospitals and private companies.

The salary will range from $50,000 to $55,000. Lancaster EMS will cover 50 percent of costs, while the city and outlying townships will finance 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

The Lancaster EMS board will evaluate candidates and present a recommendation to the Lancaster Police and Fire Commission for hiring.

The city will post the position within the next week, Braun said.

Those wanting to apply can find additional information at www.lancasterwisconsin.com.

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