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Posted on: March 30, 2023

Gunter City Council Greenlights Development of EMS Strategic Plan

Emergency Medical Services personnel loading a patient into an ambulance

The Gunter City Council recently expressed full support for the development of the City of Gunter's first Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Strategic Plan, after it was presented by City Manager Rick Chaffin at the March City Council meeting. The development of the plan is a vital step in prioritizing the health and safety of residents.

"The explosive growth of our city demands that we take a hard look at how we deal with critical issues like emergency medical services," said Mayor Mark Millar. "In order to meet our vision of a responsive city that cares for its residents, we need to look at how we will expand into the types of services that benefit our residents."

Chaffin and his staff will be working with Chief Danny Kistner (ret.) of DTK Consulting, LLC, in preparing the EMS Strategic Plan, delving into every aspect of how the city can move toward self­sufficiency in providing this critical service. At the present time, EMS services are provided to Gunter residents through a contract with the Van Alstyne Fire Department.

Chief Kistner is a nationally recognized authority on municipal EMS and fire services. He recently retired after serving almost 12 years as the McKinney Fire Chief. He has more than 40 years of experience in fire and EMS, including 10 years of practical experience as a paramedic, served as EMS Chief in Garland, and spent a combined 14 years as Fire Chief for the cities of Lufkin and McKinney.

As Fire Chief of the City of McKinney, Kistner managed a department of 250 personnel, 11 fire stations, and an operating budget of $38 million. He oversaw the launch of one of the first fire department-based community healthcare programs in the nation, improving the quality of life for many of McKinney's residents with chronic medical conditions. He earned a master's degree from Oklahoma State University and attended senior executive leadership programs at Harvard University and the University of Virginia. He is a doctoral candidate at SMU.

"As our community grows, the need for a structured EMS implementation plan becomes all the more important," added Mayor Millar. "EMS is a vital city service, but it cannot be put together overnight. Careful planning and implementation must take place to ·make sure we get it right, ensuring it is compatible with our economic capability. Chief Kistner's experience will be invaluable throughout the process."

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