Late last week the City of Kawartha Lakes welcomed two new deputy paramedic chiefs to the Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services team. Sara Johnston and Patricia Bromfield will begin their new roles for the municipality effective January 13.
However, why has the City hired two deputy chiefs for this position when it only had one before?
The paramedic service reviewed its structure following the retirement of Chief Keith Kirkpatrick a year ago. At that time, then deputy chief Derek Brown took over as interim chief but soon after was charged with fraud and dismissed with cause. That case is still before the courts.
That’s when Andrew Rafton became acting paramedic chief.
The Advocate connected with Cheri Davidson, manager, communications, advertising & marketing for Kawartha Lakes to ask why there are now two deputy paramedic chiefs under Rafton.
Davidson says with all the discussions at the provincial level of “possible restructuring of all paramedics across the province, we wanted to be sure we weren’t replacing staff prior to a major change.”
Now that the Province has confirmed it is moving forward with a public model – as there was some early discussion of a private model – Davidson says the City “proceeded to fill the service’s needs” with a few changes.
Formerly, there were two commanders, one deputy, and one chief. Now there are no commanders, two deputies, and one chief.
“Overall, one less senior management position,” says Davidson, and those resources have been diverted into additional ‘front line’ supervision with the addition of a fourth superintendent (added summer 2019) to allow the service to provide 24/7 field supervision and support.”
In other words, she says there is one less senior management position and one more front line position.
Sara Johnston will assume her new role as deputy chief, professional standards on Monday. Johnston began her career with Kawartha Lakes in 2002 as a primary care paramedic and attained her advanced care paramedic diploma in 2006.
Patricia Bromfield is new to the municipality and will join Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service as its new deputy chief, operations. Bromfield began her career with Toronto Paramedic Service in 2005 and most recently held the position of acting deputy commander with their service.