The Carroll County Board of Supervisors has hired Carroll Police Sgt. Pat Gray as its new ambulance service director.
Gray, 52, formerly Carroll County’s first paramedic before he joined the police department, will take over the position Jan. 2, succeeding longtime director Bill Fish.
At their regular meeting Monday, the Supervisors voted 5-0 to extend the offer to Gray who will make $52,739 until July 1 when he will receive $55,669 annually. The current salary is $58,599, which Gray will hit on July 1, 2014, according to the motion made by Supervisors Chairman Mark Beardmore and seconded by Supervisor Marty Danzer.
A native of Keokuk, Gray started with Carroll Ambulance Service as a paramedic in 1989 after having worked as an emergency medical technician in his hometown for three years. He joined the police department in 1999.
“I’m leaving a career that I thoroughly enjoy,” Gray said in an interview Monday night.
Gray is the lone member of Carroll Police Department to have been shot while on duty. He suffered a gunshot wound to the left leg during a standoff on Jan. 25, 2002, at Clark and 11th Streets. There are 15 officers in the police department.
The supervisors passed the motion to hire Gray in a Monday morning public session but failed to reveal the identities of the two final candidates at the time. When pressed by the Daily Times Herald under the state’s open-records laws, the supervisors released the identities of the final candidates later in the day.
The supervisors’ first choice for the position, Kerrie Hull, 51, director of the Calhoun County Ambulance Service, was offered the position Monday but declined to take it.
“Basically, I have rejected the offer and they’re going to the other candidate,” Hull said.
She makes $56,500 in Calhoun County and said the vacation package offered in Carroll wouldn’t afford her adequate time to visit family in North Carolina and Kentucky.
“Carroll would be an exciting position to have,” Hull said in an interview.
Beardmore said the supervisors received 13 resumes for the position, “all of which I thought were very capable people.”
A search committee consisting of Beardmore, Danzer and Carroll chiropractor Dr. Paul J. Greteman interviewed four candidates and narrowed the field to Hull and Gray.
Beardmore said Fish performed exceptionally well in the position.
“Bill Fish has been a fine example of great leadership,” Beardmore said.
Added Danzer, “We want this to be a seamless transition.”
Gray will become just the third director of the ambulance service. Fish, 54, held the position for the past 18 years. Larry Cruchelow of Carroll started in the position with the service itself in 1976.
Fish said Gray is positioned to do a “terrific” job at the helm of the ambulance service.
“He knows the system,” Fish said. “He knows the operation.”
Fish officially retires on Jan. 15 and plans to spend more time with a home-based business in Carroll, Ambulance Billing Services of Iowa. Fish spent 10 years as a full-time firefighter in his hometown of Red Oak and two years as director the Davis County Ambulance Service.
In recent years Fish has been politically active and at one point considering a run for the Legislature. He is also one of the leaders of the Carroll Tea Party organization. His retirement from a government position will allow Fish more flexibility for politics.
“We’ll see on that,” he said this morning. “There certainly is a lot of work that needs to be done.”