Cambria looks to revamp emergency services

Salary Board votes to create new leadership positions

EBENSBURG — With a number of votes Thursday morning, Cambria County officials took steps to revamp the leadership of the Emergency Services Department.

At a morning Salary Board meeting in the county courthouse, officials voted to abolish existing Emergency Services Department leadership positions while also creating new positions to replace them.

The decisions were intended to make employees’ titles more accurate and to more clearly define duties, Cambria County Human Resources Director Bryan Beppler said.

At the meeting, two positions were eliminated — full-time deputy director for the Department of Emergency Services and full-time executive director of the Department of Emergency Services.

The positions paid $52,303.68 and $56,571.06 per year, respectively.

The eliminated positions were replaced with two deputy director roles — deputy director of 911 and deputy director of the Emergency Management Agency. Both will exist under the Department of Emergency Services.

“Emergency management is one silo and 911 is another,” Beppler said. “So we are going to have these deputy directors over both of these entities.”

That leaves a possibility to eventually hire an executive director to oversee both “silos” and their deputy directors, Beppler said.

“That’s open for consideration; there is no guarantee that’s going to happen,” he said.

The former Department of Emergency Services executive director, Ron Springer, retired in February, Beppler said.

On Thursday, at a subsequent Cambria County commissioners meeting, commissioners voted to hire Robbin Melnyk and Allen Kline to the new deputy director roles. Melnyk had been deputy director/911 coordinator, while Kline was interim director/EMA coordinator.

Melnyk will serve in the 911 role at a salary of $52,303.68 per year. Kline will serve in the Emergency Management Agency role at a salary of $50,000 per year.

Both Melnyk and Kline were employed previously by the county.

Commissioners Tom Chernisky and William “B.J.” Smith released a series of statements about the department.

“The commissioners approved and have received an independent review on the Cambria County Department of Emergency Services,” Chernisky said. “The assessment is in the process of being reviewed by the commissioners.”

Smith said that review was conducted to “get an assessment on the efficiency and capability of the operations of the Department of Emergency Services.”

County Controller Ed Cernic said the the new roles approved Thursday were determined to be the best fit for the county’s needs.

“Emergency services changes constantly,” Cernic said. “The commissioners and the county are just realigning as we see the necessity to do that.”

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.