Interim emergency coordinator named

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— For a person who claims he moved to Craig for semi-retirement, Tom Soos, 49, already carries a hefty load.

Soos, Emergency Medical Services director for The Memorial Hospital, just went from part time to full time when EMS started keeping on-call staff at the hospital 24/7.

Soos also finds time to teach basic emergency medical technician classes at Colorado Northwestern Community College three nights a week.

A recent agreement between Moffat County and the hospital will add to his load.

At a workshop Wednesday, Moffat County and TMH officials agreed in principal to a contract that would make Soos the county's interim emergency management coordinator.

"I've done this type of stuff since I was 17," Soos said. "I know everybody when the group (of emergency service providers) comes together. That group works really well together to begin with."

The Commission plans to make a final vote on the agreement at its Feb. 18 meeting.

Soos has been with the hospital as EMS director since 2002. He would serve as management coordinator for the next six months.

The county has been without a coordinator since November 2007, when Larry Dalton stepped down to work full time with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office.

Moffat County commissioners Tom Gray and Tom Mathers said the county was fortunate to find someone with Soos' background.

"They're all linked," Mathers said, referring to emergency service providers - such as law enforcement and EMS - and the emergency management coordinator position. "He knows everybody, and he already works well with them."

George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, agreed Soos' involvement would benefit Moffat County residents.

"I think a lot of what is required in this position he knows or has been around most of his life," Rohrich said.

Soos was first certified as an emergency medical technician in 1976, he said.

Soon after that, at the age of 19, he was named chairman of the American Red Cross Disaster Committee for a tri-county area in New Jersey.

Soos also worked for two years as chief deputy for fire emergency services at Rutgers University, he said.

"I've been doing this a long time, in a lot of different capacities," Soos said.

He plans to update the county emergency management plan's contact list for resources as a start. Other plan updates would be done in coordination with emergency service providers, he said.

His responsibilities during an emergency also are up to the needs of those providers.

"It depends on what the situation is and what assistance the first line of responders needs," Soos said. "We have emergencies in Moffat County every day that don't require emergency managers. That's determined by the people on the scene, what help they need."

When asked by County Attorney Kathleen Taylor when Soos would like to start, he responded as soon as the contract is approved.

"We should probably get going," he said.

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