Polk EMS director placed on administrative leave

Published 1:09 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Polk County Emergency Services and Emergency Management is currently without a director as the county placed director Sandra Halford on administrative leave last week.

Halford was placed on paid leave on May 8. Interim county manager Marche Pittman said the county cannot comment further regarding the ongoing personnel matter.

Halford has worked with Polk County for almost 23 years. She started as a paramedic on July 1, 1990, was hired as the county’s emergency management director in 1999 and as the EMS/emergency management director in 2004.

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Polk County Commissioners earlier this year decided to split the EMS director and fire marshal/emergency management director positions saying the duties were too much for one person to handle and that it had nothing to do with Halford’s performance. The county also recently hired new emergency services medical director Dr. Lonnie Lassiter this year.

The county has advertised for a fire marshal/emergency management director and just began discussing the separate department this week during budget workshops.

Commissioners are considering a recommended $87,593 budget for emergency management next year with the salary for the new emergency management director budgeted at a $61,487 base salary.