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South Carolina EMS Association

2023 SCEMSA Board Elections

Per the SCEMSA bylaws, the 2023 SCEMSA Board Elections will be open for voting for seven calendar days from February 20 through 27, 2023.

With regard to electing Directors, individual and honorary members are entitled to one vote in each election for the four at-large DHEC Regional (geographic) seats (Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee, Lowcountry).  In 2023, individuals will be voting on Midlands and Upstate representatives from the ballot presented.

Main contacts for organizational members are allowed to vote for officer and board member elections per the structure below:

  • Ground Ambulance Members - two votes
  • Regional EMS Education Institutions - two votes
  • Non-Transporting Agency Members - one vote
  • Air Ambulance Memberships - one vote
  • EMS Education Institutions - one vote

If your organization is allowed two votes, we will automatically apply your second vote to the same person you vote for on the ballot below.  If you would like to apply your votes to two different people, contact before voting closes to indicate how to apply the second vote.

Please read the biographical information below about the candidates and why they want to be on the board. Then login to the SCEMSA website and follow the voting instructions at the bottom of this page.

Nominees - regional Representatives Ballot

Midlands Area Regional Representative

John Faulkner, Chester County

John has been an EMT since 2012 and obtained his paramedic in 2018. He currently serves as Shift Supervisor and Training Coordinator for Chester County EMS. He has a B.S. in Healthcare Administration and is currently working on his MBA. He is an adjunct instructor for York Technical College where he teaches EMT and Advanced. He is an active member of the Sheriff's SRT team and TECC instructor. He holds numerous certifications and is an instructor in most of them. He served in the military as a drill sergeant and understands the importance of leadership as it pertains to planning and training.

Richard Mann, River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS (incumbent)

I have been a member of the SC EMS Association for many years and prior to serving as the Midlands representative, I was privileged to serve as the Secretary of the organization.  I have been involved with SC EMS for the last 45 years in various functions and I am one of the founders of River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS.  Currently, I am also serving as the president of SAVVIK, which is a national buying group that helps to support our EMS Association.  I would be honored to serve as the Midlands representative for another two years.

Upstate Regional Representative

Dietrich Easter, Pickens County EMS

I am passionate about EMS in South Carolina. I have been in EMS for 20 years and I still love to provide patient care and education. With everything going on with my son, Gage, it has reenergized me about being on this side of healthcare. We get complacent with providing care that we forget this is someone's family. I want to make sure we are pushing SC EMS to be the best! I want to make sure the next generation EMT and Paramedic have the best resources to provide excellent pre-hospital care. I believe my reputation in SC EMS will represent SC EMS Association well.

Bruce Rochester, Laurens County EMS (incumbent)

Bruce currently holds the position of Upstate Representative.  Bruce has held leadership positions in Spartanburg County and currently is in a leadership role with Laurens County EMS. He is a lieutenant/paramedic with Laurens County EMS and was a shift coordinator with Spartanburg EMS previously. Bruce has been working in EMS since 1996.

From Bruce: I believe I have the education, experience, and desire to see this opportunity through. I was appointed to the position of Upstate Representative last year and feel as if there is so much left to do and that we are just getting started.

Meredith Teske, Thorne Ambulance Service

Meredith Teske serves as the Upstate Operations Manager for Thorne Ambulance Service and has more than 23 years of Upstate-based EMS experience. In her present role, Meredith oversees 911 operations in Cherokee County, IFT operations in Greenville County, and IFT operations in Greenwood County. As a result of Thorne’s geographical footprint, Meredith’s team serves all Upstate counties in some capacity.

Prior to coming to Thorne Ambulance, Meredith served as the EMS Director for Belton Rescue Squad in Anderson County, in addition to serving as an EMS Educator at Upstate EMS Council in Greenville.

Ms. Teske is an out-of-the-box thinker, focused on the right solution – and not the “way it has always been done.” Meredith brings incredible value to the Thorne team, and I would like to see her skills and talents utilized in a greater capacity.

The South Carolina EMS Association has made incredible progress over the past couple of years, and our organization desires to play a greater role in seeing the Association’s vision turned to reality. The Thorne Ambulance Service team has showcased their value within the South Carolina EMS system, and as such, I believe that Ms. Teske will be highly successful in this role.

Additional Nominees - Organizational Member Ballot

Air Ambulance

Patrick Lamontagne, Air Methods/ Lifenet

Patrick Lamontagne is the Business Development Manager for Air Methods Corporation and maintains the business relationships for the LifeNet South Carolina and LifeStar Georgia Air Medical Programs.  Prior to joining the Air Methods team in 2019, he proudly served 24 years for the American Red Cross Biomedical Services where he held various positions including District Manager of the Account Management team that served the hospitals and communities throughout South Carolina.  He currently lives in Mount Pleasant, SC, but is from Columbia, SC where he graduated from Spring Valley High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.  Patrick is extremely proud of the work that the Air Methods team does with assisting partnering agencies and patients in the community.  Because of the work he does and the relationships he has with EMS providers throughout the state, he would provide an excellent HEMS perspective that would further benefit EMS agencies and the SCEMSA.

DHEC Non-Transporting Service

Kevin Crosby, Greenville City Fire Department

Kevin has over 22 years of service in the emergency services, 17 years in the fire service and 22 years in EMS. Kevin is currently the Chief Medical Coordinator for the Greenville City Fire Department. Kevin serves on the SC State Firefighters Associations EMS Committee, is chair of the Greenville County Fire Chiefs Association EMS Committee, and serves as a member of the Greenville County Overdose Fatality Review Committee. Kevin holds an MBA in Public Administration from Columbia Southern University and the Chief EMS Officer (CEMSO) designation through CPSE.

From Kevin: I feel that I am a great candidate for this position as I have a strong fire and EMS background. I serve on multiple committees and have worked with both the SCSFFA and SCEMSA with revising the DHEC 61-7 regulation. During the last regulation update I served as one of three working group members representing the state fire service. I believe in advancing the EMS field through transport and non-transport agencies through finding creative ways to overcome challenges currently being faced by these agencies. Thank you for your consideration.

Julie McCabe, Charleston Fire Department

Julie is currently the Battalion Chief/Medical Coordinator for Charleston Fire Department. Previously, she was the Program Manager for the South Carolina Fire Academy.   She has worked at DHEC as a program coordinator and inspector and as a paramedic with Lexington County EMS.  She served as a Firefighter for Columbia Richland Fire Department and a firefighter/paramedic for Cincinnati Fire Department in the past.

EMS Education Institution

Jonathan Jones, Aiken Tech

Jonathan Jones always pushes for research based medicine. He educates others and teaches them to stand for what's right and to never settle for what's "always been done." He shows proficiency in EMS and demonstrates a professional yet caring character for others and does not settle for anything less than the best. He strives to show students entering the medical field what makes a good medic, proving you must go far beyond just passing a test to be a good medic. As one of his students, he's helped me build confidence behind my words and has shown me what it takes to be a leader.

Jonathan Jones has built a program from something that was close to being shut down. He also was recognized for building one of the best EMS programs in the nation. He has extensive experience in many fields and is the best candidate for this position in many ways.

Jonathan is a graduate of American Military University with a BA in Emergency & Disaster Management and current Department Chair of Allied Health / EMS Program Director for the School of Health Sciences at Aiken Technical College. He has over 30 years in Public Safety with experience in Firefighting, Law Enforcement, EMS, Diving, and Emergency Management. He is a West Virginia native who has called South Carolina home for over 8 years after moving here to be the Emergency Services Coordinator at the University of South Carolina. He is currently the chair of the Disaster Preparedness Committee of the SCEMSA, and a FEMA National Emergency Management Basic Academy Instructor.

Benji McCollum, Midlands Technical College

Benji McCollum presently serves as the Paramedic Program Director at Midlands Technical College. Benji is a certified Paramedic as well as a Nurse. He has been in the EMS profession since 2005 and has been an active member of the SC EMS Association for many years. Benji brings a wealth of knowledge to the table with his field experience and time in the EMS education field.

Large 911 Ground Provider

Thomas H. Blackwell, MD, FACEP, FAEMS, Greenville County EMS

Dr. Thomas Blackwell is board certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS Medicine.  He has been involved in EMS for 43 years and academic medicine for 33 years.  He is currently Executive Director, Greenville County EMS; Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of SC School of Medicine Greenville; Clinical Professor, Clemson University School of Health Research; Adjunct Professor, Transportation and Policy Studies, Center for Homeland Security and Major Disaster Management, University of North Carolina-Charlotte; and Medical Officer, US Army Reserves.

Clayton Catoe, Lancaster County EMS

Clay Catoe is an experienced Director of Emergency Services. He has over 30 years of experience in the EMS field and holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree focused in Education/Business. Clay is currently serving his 12th year as the Director of Lancaster County EMS. In addition to his EMS background, he also has a background in Nonprofit Organizations, Government, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Management. Clay would definitely make an excellent Large 911 Ground Provider Representative.

Small Private Ground Provider

Russ Cobb, LifeLine Ambulance (incumbent)

Russ is a 23-year member of the SCEMSA, and is currently the small private board member and on the executive committee.  He is the CEO of LifeLine Ambulance, and has been a SC EMT/ paramedic since 1990.

Steve Fitts, Amerimed EMS

I am passionate about how public and private EMS can work together to better serve the residents of South Carolina.


1) Read the biographical information above about the candidates and why they want to be on the board. 

2) Take a few seconds to vote using our electronic ballot by selecting your appropriate ballot or ballots below.  Organizations receive the opportunity to vote for all board positions, so please submit both ballots below.

Note: Members must login to vote since you must be a verified SCEMSA member for your vote to be counted!

If you have never logged in, you can activate your account by clicking on the login button at the very top right corner of this website. On the login screen, click the "forgot password" link.

Enter the e-mail address we have on file, and it will provide you with directions via e-mail about setting your password. Then come back and login to gain access to your ballot, profile information, events, and your membership information. If you have trouble, contact Mary Napier, SCEMSA CAO.


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SC EMS Association
PO Box 1033
Summerville, SC 29484

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