Volusia County Council approves new department, promoting two.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
During Tuesday, December 6, regularly scheduled meeting, the Volusia County Council approved the creation of an Emergency Services Department that realigns some of the divisions within the Public Protection Department.
According to a release, County Manager George Recktenwald recommended the department changes to improve efficiencies in the growing Public Protection Department, which will focus on Animal Services, Beach Safety, Corrections, and the Medical Examiner’s Office. The new Emergency Services Department will take on Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Administration, and Fire Rescue.
During the same meeting, council members confirmed the appointment of the leadership roles within the departments to two long-time public safety employees, Mark Swanson and Jim Judge.
Swanson has 40-plus years of experience in emergency medical services and law enforcement and has been named public protection director. Beginning his public service career in 1979 as a firefighter/paramedic with the City of Port Orange, Swanson then joined the EVAC Ambulance in 1985 as a field paramedic, working his way up to director of clinical services and paramedic captain. Swanson served as a law enforcement officer and paramedic for Daytona Beach Shores from 2000 to 2013, while also serving as clinical services manager when EVAC transitioned to a county division, in 2011. From 2011 to 2013, Swanson was Director of Beach Safety from 2013 to 2016, Deputy Director of Public Protection from 2016 to 2021, and Interim Director since 2021.
Judge was appointed to head the new Emergency Services Department, following a 45-year career in public safety, with 30 of those years at the leadership level. Judge served as Volusia County’s Emergency Management Director from June 2013 to January 2021 before briefly retiring and returning to the County as Interim Deputy Director of Public Protection and Emergency Management. Judge is well-versed in emergency management, fire services, and emergency medical services.
Recktenwald praised Swanson and Judge for the duo’s multiple honors noting their expertise was particularly evident during multiple hurricane responses over the past decade.
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