Pettis County Ambulance District names new chief

By Nicole Cooke -

Eric Dirck

After several months as the interim leader of the organization, Eric Dirck has been named the new EMS Chief for the Pettis County Ambulance District, as announced Wednesday morning.

Dirck was named the interim chief March 29 after former Administrator Mike Gardner was charged with stealing and 46 counts of forgery. Dirck formerly served as the district training officer.

“It’s amazing,” Dirck told the Democrat of being named chief. “Even being interim was fantastic — being able to be part of keeping the district on track, I’ve enjoyed working with the teams. It really is an honor and a privilege. It’s a big district, it’s a progressive district. It’s just fantastic.”

According to a PCAD news release, Dirck has 21 years of experience in emergency medical services, including 17 focused on education and training. He was hired as a PCAD training officer in 2013 and helped shape district operation protocols.

As a training officer, Dirck was part of the PCAD command staff where he was directly involved in operations, training, education and public relations. He said that experience plus the relationships he’s formed with other area agencies such as EMS, fire and police departments will help him in this new role.

During his time as interim chief, Dirck has overseen several changes at the district, including an overhaul of its operations manual and command structure.

“Eric has done a great job getting the district back on track and focused on patient needs,” PCAD Board President Greg Nehring said in the release. “We’re very confident in his abilities to continue to lead the district in the right direction and are looking forward to continuing the high level of patient care PCAD has provided since being founded.”

Previously PCAD had only a few command staff roles, which Dirck changed with board approval in June. Dirck said the decision was made to align staffing titles and responsibilities with the national standards. He will continue to add to the command staff when he later announces an assistant chief and when the board hires a chief financial officer.

“My goal is to keep moving forward,” Dirck said. “We’re still growing the district, still working on filling the needs and goals of the board of directors. The initial goal of PCAD was to provide world-class emergency services to Pettis County. We will be continuing on that path with the board of directors, with input from the entire staff as well as myself. One of the big things we want to focus on now is this is a group effort — we have a command staff and I intend to use them as such. We really do have an excellent group of people and they all have great ideas.”

Eric Dirck Dirck

By Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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