Marion Interim EMS director introduced

The Marion County Commission introduced Robert “Bob” Church as its interim EMS director during the Monday meeting, and following the resignation of Ed Debesis, who served about 18 months as the director.

The commissioners also agreed to allow Church to expand the pool of part-time medical technicians from four to eight to ensure the schedule was covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, Commission chair Dianne Novak and commissioner Kent Becker approved allowing Church to use the EMS director’s vehicle while serving as interim director. Commissioner Randy Dallke opposed the motion.

Church said he was hired by Debesis in June 2017 to serve as a full-time paramedic in Hillsboro, adding he also is a registered nurse.

After accepting the full-time position in Hillsboro, Church said he split his time at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis in Wichita, where he worked for 11 years, before taking an RN job at St. Luke Hospital in Marion.

Born and raised in Wichita, he said, his family relocated to the Newton-area where he graduated from Berean High School in Elbing.

In 1996, he said he moved to Florida where he received his paramedic experience.

“I was there 10 years,” Church said, “and what’s ironic is I was a paramedic in Marion County, Fla.”

Church, and his wife, Patti, have four children to include 19-year-old twin daughters and two sons, ages 16 and 5.

After the commissioners interviewed candidates for the interim director’s job, Church was selected at a special meeting Sept. 18.

Other highlights from Monday’s commission meeting to include information presented by Josh Clevenger with the EMS department regarding CPR classes, road and bridge reports and updates on the Marion County Community Economic Development Corporation, will appear in next week’s edition of the Free Press.