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      Florence County EMS Director named SC EMS Director of the Year

      On Saturday, Florence County Emergency Medical Services Director Ryon A. Watkins was named the 2013 South Carolina EMS Director of the Year.

      He received the award at the at the annual South Carolina Emergency Medical Services Symposium in Myrtle Beach.

      Watkins has been the Florence County EMS Director since 2007.

      The South Carolina EMS Network, which is comprised of representatives from EMS organizations throughout South Carolina, presents the award annually to the EMS director who contributed most significantly to EMS at the community, state, or national level.

      During the presentation of the award, Dr. Ed DesChamps, the State Medical Control Physician for Emergency Medical Services in South Carolina, noted some of Watkins' recent accomplishments that contributed to his being selected for the award.

      Those accomplishments include working with the Florence County Council and Florence County Administrator to have additional ambulances staffed every day with the goal of reducing response times, developing and implementing a work schedule that improved the recruitment and retention of well-trained and experienced personnel, participating in numerous committees that work to improve emergency services in Florence County and in the Pee Dee, and working to move Florence County EMS forward in the areas of patient treatment and technology during economically challenging times.

      In 2013, Florence County EMS responded to approximately 19,200 incidents.