That person, Tracy Lambert, a former board member who is currently serving as interim director of the service, was the only applicant for the job, said William Cleino, chairman of the board.
In January, the board had been considering hiring a private company to manage EMS, but Lambert, then on the board, took on the task of reorganizing the service in an effort to keep it locally managed. He promised to work on the project for six months, Lambert said. On Feb. 21, the former director, Keith Roberts, resigned and Lambert took over as interim director.
In July, Lambert resigned from the board and told them he couldn’t continue to volunteer as interim director because it was wearing him out. But, Lambert said he would continue until the members hired a new director. He suggested the board members hire a part-time director and asked if he could apply for the job.
The board advertised for a part-time director for a week, said Cleino at the special meeting scheduled to interview applicants.
Although Lambert was the only applicant, the board members asked some tough questions.
Board member Clarence Duckworth asked if Lambert’s full-time employer, the City of Buchanan (Ga.) Police Department, where he serves as chief of police, is amenable to him working in Heflin part-time.
“They already know,” Lambert said. “I advised them back in January when I got put on the board and I cleared it with them before I got put on the board.”
Board member Sandy Weston asked how he would continue to serve as part-time director when doing it for the last six months had been so difficult for him.
Lambert said he would continue the way he’s been working. He may not work the same hours every week, but he will get the job done. He wouldn’t consider himself a part-time director, Lambert said.
“If y’all hire me, you hire me as the director,” he said.
Weston also asked what would happen in an emergency since Lambert and some other employees work at EMS part-time and work at other emergency agencies full-time.
“I just want to make sure that we’re covered in our county if we have a disaster,” Weston said.
Lambert said he would like to put into place policies and mutual aid agreements that would guarantee that the county was protected in an emergency. It’s something he hasn’t had a chance to do yet during his time as interim director, Lambert said.
“I want to give the employees out there ownership,” Lambert said. “I want to let them know that this board supports them. However, I want them to know that this board expects them to give 100 percent when they come to work for us.”
Lambert focused on his accomplishments at EMS so far. Under his leadership the service increased its bank balance from $13,095 to $132,811. Before he took over the service was requiring an average of $30,000 a month in tax dollars to survive. Since he took over, Lambert has cut the required tax subsidy to $17,625.
Lambert has worked as a police officer since 1989, first in Heflin, then in Carrollton, Ga., and now in Buchanan, Ga.
In his current job as chief of police, he is responsible for creating the department budget, recruiting, training and supervising officers, he said.
The board will vote on Lambert’s application at its next meeting on Aug. 15.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.