Bobby Wartgow promoted to EMS deputy chief
Hiring within the district has its benefits, but it also means someone else has to be hired to fill the vacated position.
Last week, the Douglas County Commission chose Tod Carlini as the new fire chief, replacing Jim Reinhardt, who retired in May.
Tuesday, EMS Capt. Bobby Wartgow was promoted to replace Carlini as EMS Deputy Chief. Wartgow and Carlini were the finalists for the position in December. Carlini said since those interviews were conducted just a few months ago, he felt confident in promoting Wartgow. Before Carlini was made deputy chief in December, the position was vacant for four years, Carlini said. He said the salary range is $47,216-$64,396.
Wartgow, who has been with East Fork Fire and Paramedic districts for 18 years, said this was the next logical step for him.
“I’m really excited and look forward to the challenge. As someone who grew up here, this is my home and this is what we do, try to take care of people,” Wartgow said.
He became a volunteer firefighter with the Douglas County Engine Co. in 1982 and was hired as the third paid paramedic in 1984. In 1991, he became a captain of the paramedic district and was one of three captains who oversee the 21 paid paramedics and EMTs. Wartgow is married to Sandy, and they have four children, Kaleb, 12, Luke, 10, Amanda, 6, and Jake, 4.
There are three deputy chiefs in the district who supervise the areas of training and fire prevention in addition to emergency medical services.
Wartgow will be in charge of the paramedic division, overseeing the volunteer portion of the emergency medical services and support the chief and the other deputy chiefs.
Wartgow is coming in during an exciting time, when the paramedics will be expanding from their station on County Road to a new station that will soon to be built in the Ranchos.
Wartgow said three new paramedics have recently been hired and will be staffing an ambulance out of the current Ranchos Volunteer Fire Department station on Muir Drive until the new station, with sleeping quarters, is built.
“Soon we will be sending them out there during the day for about 9-10 hours a day, then after dinner they will probably come back in to sleep here,” Wartgow said. “Construction should start soon and finish, hopefully, in January. It will be a big increase in service, especially in response times in the Ranchos.”
Growth of the area and an ever-increasing number of 911 calls means a big challenge for Wartgow, he said.
“We want to manage the increase in call volume and continue to support the volunteer side,” he said. “Obviously we want to make the business side as self-supporting as possible. One of my personal goals is to make sure our district is considered cutting-edge; a department that other departments will look to.”
Making that goal a reality with increasing calls will be a challenge, he admitted, but both and and Carlini said Wartgow is up for it.
“He’s certainly committed to providing the best pre-hospital care in the area and he’s demonstrated that time and time again. He has a very diverse background in EMS, and attended several national courses. He is also very well respected, not just in Douglas County, but across the state. He has provided legislative testimony and served on several committees. He is a resource to several other agencies,” Carlini said. “I’m sure he will do a wonderful job and he has my confidence.”