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PHOTO COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY NEW GUY IN CHARGE — Michael Colman listens as the Volusia County Council discusses his appointment as the county’s new emergency medical services director Aug. 3

Providing professional care, treatment and ambulance transport at the scene of medical emergencies is among the very highest priorities of any governmental agency. On Aug. 3, the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority in Virginia was selected to become Volusia County’s new emergency medical services (EMS) director.

Michael Colman brings 29 years of EMS and public safety experience to his new job with the county. He replaces former EMS Director Jason Brady, who left the county in June to take a position with University Hospital-Rutgers in Newark, New Jersey.

In collaboration with area hospitals and municipal fire departments, Volusia County EMS provides pre-hospital 911 medical care and transportation in the county — averaging in excess of 60,000 transports per year.

County Manager George Recktenwald selected Colman for the position, and the County Council unanimously confirmed his appointment.

Recktenwald noted that Colman’s background includes expertise in areas that are directly relevant to Volusia County, such as special-event management and a nurse triage program integrated into dispatch operations similar to what Volusia uses.

“I’m confident that Michael will be a great fit for our organization,” Recktenwald told the council.

One of Colman’s first challenges will be addressing a shortage of personnel so the county can get more ambulances on the streets.

Colman has been with the Richmond Ambulance Authority since 2018. Prior to that, he held a number of positions with the Atlanta-based Grady Health System going back to 2009, including director of EMS operations, vice president EMS/mobile advance practice, vice president of EMS operations and director of EMS education and training.

He also led Grady Health System’s special-event team, and has served as a paramedic and a flight paramedic, and was the lead instructor for the paramedic program at Gwinnett Technical College. And now, Colman is anxious to put his skills to work for the Volusia County community.

“I’m super-excited about the opportunity,” Colman told the County Council. “I’m really excited to get started.”

Colman has a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Clayton State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State University.

He has won several prestigious awards during his career, including the Old Dominion EMS Alliance Outstanding EMS Leadership Award, the EMS Pioneer Award, and the EMS Service Director of the Year Award.

While at Grady Health System, Colman created an alternate destination program pairing an EMS mobile crisis unit with embedded mental health social workers — a program that was recognized by George Washington University.

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