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Carroll County names first director of fire and EMS, who will lead creation of combination department

Robert McCoy was named Carroll County's first director of fire and emergency medical services. He will step into his new role on July 9, 2020.
Robert McCoy was named Carroll County's first director of fire and emergency medical services. He will step into his new role on July 9, 2020. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

Carroll County’s selection for its first director of the budding Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services has nearly 40 years of fire service experience that includes establishing the first combination paid and volunteer fire service in Pennsylvania, the county announced Wednesday evening.

Robert McCoy, a Carroll County resident since 2018 and a Prince George’s County native, will lead Carroll in forming its first countywide combination fire and EMS service, according to a county news release. He currently works in emergency communications for Carroll County. McCoy’s first day as director will be July 9.

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McCoy has 37 years of fire service experience and 20 years in senior management, according to the release.

As director, McCoy “will be charged with the overall direction, administration and evaluation” of the department and “plan, develop, implement and evaluate a county-wide combination fire and EMS system, policies and procedures,” the release states. He will work closely with the Department of Public Safety and coordinate with Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association, or CCVESA.

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“I am honored to be chosen for this historical task and appreciate the confidence of the county commissioners,” McCoy said in the release. “I look forward to working with all parties to achieve our goal of continued efficient services to the citizens.”

McCoy was not available for an interview Thursday.

Commissioner Stephen Wantz, president of the Board of County Commissioners, said in the release that the road to hiring the county’s first fire and EMS director was an “arduous journey.”

“The hiring of Carroll County’s first Director of Fire and Emergency Medical Services is the cornerstone for building the best combination system in the nation, and we are confident we have hired the perfect leader for Carroll County,” Wantz, R-District 1, is quoted as saying in the release. “Robert McCoy brings the right combination of experience, leadership skills and professionalism to lead this mission while preserving our volunteer heritage.”

Wantz, who has years of experience himself as a firefighter, acknowledged CCVESA and its member companies for helping the county get to this point. He said in a text that this is the beginning stage of the new combination department, which has been as an idea for about a decade.

Bruce Fleming, who was elected president of CCVESA just last month, said he doesn’t know McCoy personally but said it will be crucial for the county fire and EMS department to work with CCVESA.

“We look forward to working on that relationship,” Fleming said Thursday.

He noted that CCVESA representatives were involved in narrowing down the final candidates, but the choice of who to hire was made by the commissioners.

This won’t be McCoy’s first time starting a combination fire and EMS department. He spent eight years as fire chief in York, Pennsylvania, where he established a regional department within York County called York Area United Fire and Rescue, the first regional combination fire department in the state, according to the release.

He is also a former deputy fire chief of operations for Prince George’s County, a position that included managing 1,900 career and volunteer personnel and directing a $120 million budget, the release states.

McCoy has a bachelor of science degree in occupational safety and health/fire, according to the release. He has completed graduate courses toward a master’s degree in public administration. He’s married with three children and five grandchildren, and he enjoys golf, bowling and collecting football memorabilia.

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