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Metro Newsroom


Abramson: New EMS Director To Create National Model of Excellence in Emergency Care

Wednesday August 4, 2004

Mayor Jerry Abramson today named Dr. Neal Richmond to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the new Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Service.

Richmond, 50, is currently Deputy Medical Director for the New York City Fire Department. He also serves as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Richmond, who begins full-time Nov. 1, will lead the consolidation of the community’s two EMS systems into a single, standalone model – a system that Abramson said will be “medically driven, medically focused and flexible to meet the needs of a diverse and changing community.”

“Louisville’s efforts in the area of emergency medical services are being talked about across the country as a cutting-edge and leading approach to the delivery of emergency medical care,” Abramson said. “The centerpiece of this effort, however, is the ability to attract a new leader to take our EMS service to a new level of excellence. After a national search, we believe we have found that person.”

Abramson said Richmond has been tested in extreme emergency conditions such as the response to the World Trade Center collapse on Sept. 11, 2001. And, because of his expertise and reputation, he has consulted with other EMS systems in America and internationally.

Richmond will begin full-time on Nov. 1. Between now and Nov. 1, he will serve as a consultant to help with the transition to a consolidated EMS department. Richmond, who will have a faculty appointment in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville, will earn $150,000 annually.

Abramson said Richmond will have “complete authority” to design a new EMS system that will serve the health-care delivery needs of the community. A task force, composed of medical professionals and representatives of the city and suburban fire departments, is working on the transition to a consolidated model.

“Dr. Richmond will design a system that builds upon the considerable strengths of both existing departments. There is a lot right in what we do here,” Abramson said. “Dr. Richmond is here to make our delivery of care even better.”

In January, Abramson announced the move to consolidate the EMS systems, following the recommendation of a task force composed of local medical, EMS and fire professionals and metro council members.

The task force overwhelmingly concluded that separate EMS services in both the Urban Services District and suburban areas of Louisville Metro should not be retained. Currently, EMS in the Urban Services District is overseen by Louisville Fire and Rescue. In the suburban areas, EMS is a standalone operation.