Paris Fire Chief Thomas McMonigle is now chief over both EMS and Fire after Paris City Council amended a city ordinance Monday, eliminating the EMS Chief position and assigning it to the fire chief moving forward.
“Over the past three months, we’ve had the opportunity to examine what it’s like to have both EMS and Fire assigned to the same department head,” City Manager Grayson Path said, referencing the departure of the previous EMS Chief Russell Thrasher.
Path said having one department head over two departments is not new to the city.
“We do feel and we’ve found an efficiency, there’s been improved communications with the departments having one department head,” Path said. “There’s several advantages to having that role shared to one position.”
The city is expected to look into creating a new assistant EMS chief position, similar to the already-established assistant fire chief.
“There’s a lot in EMS. It’s a lot for one person to take on, and that’s what the former EMS chief and I were discussing for some time – the potential of having an assistant at some point,” Path said, speaking about the funds already available for the potential position.
Path said McMonigle was already “on board”, and the city can use the former EMS chief’s funding for the assistant’s role.
“Given McMonigle’s character, his leadership style, his management style, and given what we’ve seen over the past three months and the direction we’ve been going the last couple years, they (Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, Medical Director, three EMS Deputy Chiefs, four Deputy Fire Chiefs) see it as a positive step for our departments,” Path said.
McMonigle said he appreciates Path’s confidence in him and his abilities to take on the EMS Chief’s responsibilities, alongside his current responsibilities.
“I think this will be a positive move for us going forward,” McMonigle said. “We already have one of the best EMS systems in the country running here right now, and I believe with their assistance and their drive to move forward we can make this very successful.”
Several council members voiced their approval saying, “I think that’s a great idea.”
Path said the pay for the assistant EMS chief will be lower than what the EMS Chief’s budgeted salary, and McMonigle’s pay will slightly increase in conjunction with the added responsibilities.