HOISINGTON — The citizens of Hoisington found out Thursday morning that former EMS director Scott Fleming is no longer with employed by the City of Hoisington. The department is now being overseen by Megan Elmore, who introduced herself as the acting director at a Hoisington Chamber Coffee that morning, hosted by Hoisington EMS.
Elmore has been a member of the EMS staff for more than a decade, first as a volunteer and later as a paid staff member. She was promoted to the position of director on Aug. 12.
Hoisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell was not at the Hoisington Chamber Coffee event Thursday. The Great Bend Tribune reached out to him by telephone Thursday, and he confirmed that Fleming was terminated Aug. 12.
Fleming addressed the council that night concerning the department’s renewal of efforts to recruit more volunteer EMTs. Following his presentation, the council went into the first of three executive sessions for the purpose of discussing non-elected personnel concerning a performance issue. As executive sessions are not open to the public, the individual discussed was not named.
The council reported having taken no action during those sessions, and the meeting then adjourned.
According to Mitchell, it was later that evening that he visited with Fleming and informed him his services were no longer needed. Fleming was not under contract with the city.
According to statute, the city manager is responsible for the hiring and firing of employees. Mitchell said he could not comment further about Fleming’s departure from the city, other than to say there was no legal action pending between the city and Fleming that he was aware of.
“During his time with the city, Scott has grown the EMS service and has generated excitement about the department among the public,” Mitchell said. “The city will continue recruiting additional volunteer EMTs, which are much needed at this time.”
He noted that Elmore is an AEMT, and as an advanced provider is on par with other area EMS directors.
“Megan has done a great job, and we look forward to working with her in this capacity,” he said. She serves under a 90-day probationary period, Mitchell said, as she and the city determine if she is a good fit for the position. The Tribune contacted Fleming by telephone Thursday. He stated that his termination was a surprise, and he had not been given an opportunity to resign. He would not comment further on the matter.
The City of Hoisington hired Fleming as EMS Director in April of 2014 and he began working the following month. He came to the city from Comanche County EMS shortly after receiving the Outstanding Service Director of the Year award from the Kansas Emergency Medical Technicians Association. His qualifications included paramedic certifications in three states with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, as well as paramedic certification with the Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program. He also holds advanced training credentials in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, Paramedic Advanced Life Support, Advanced Medical Life Support, Prehospital Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals, along with several instructor certifications, including Kansas BEMS Instructor/Coordinator, Basic Life Support, ACLS PALS, AMLS and PHTLS.
Over the past five years, his efforts have been the subject of praise at numerous city council meetings.
Under Fleming’s direction, the Hoisington EMS began a tradition of holding Open Houses during National Emergency Medical Services Week observed each May.
Under his direction, the city implemented a volunteer recruitment program that included an exchange of tuition assistance in exchange for volunteer hours that in 2015 saw the volunteer service gain ground.
The former EMS director also served for years as a board member of the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce, holding leadership positions as president in 2018 and most recently, past president.
In 2016, Fleming organized an Arrive Alive event prior to prom season that included efforts by several local law enforcement and emergency responder organizations, USD 431 administration and several high school students from Hoisington High School. Those efforts were recognized at the 60th Annual Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Banquet in January 2017.
In December 2017, Hoisington EMS unveiled the results of months of volunteer efforts to build and outfit new training and lodging quarters in the basement of the Hoisington Municipal Complex. Four private rooms and a large conference room are now available to accommodate EMS volunteers who live outside of the city so they can be available at a moment’s notice during shifts. It also provided space that was sorely lacking at the EMT barn for group training.
Fleming sought out and acquired grants that helped the service purchase new equipment. At the December 2017 unveiling, Hoisington EMS volunteers demonstrated new equipment acquired through a Firehouse Subs grant initiated by Fleming earlier that year. The grant provided funds for the department to purchase two ROSC-U mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation devices, one for each ambulance. The devices provide high-quality CPR for hours, increasing the chance for a positive outcome upon arrival at a medical center.