At a meeting on Dec. 26, the Stokes County Board of Commissioners appointed Greg Collins the new Stokes County Emergency Medical Services director and emergency management coordinator.
Collins, who had been serving as assistant EMS director, took over as director on Jan. 1 following the retirement of former director Monty Stevens.
Stevens, who had worked for Stokes County EMS in some capacity since 1980, said, “I’ve known Greg a long time. He’s going to do a good job … And he’s got good folks around him.”
“I’m privileged to have this position,” remarked Collins, who has also worked for Stokes County EMS since the 1980s.
The new director said there are no big changes in the works, but he wants to continue to improve on the solid foundation.
“We’ll continue to provide excellent patient care,” he remarked.
County Manager Rick Morris said Collins is a great successor for Stevens for several reasons, including his long term employment with the county, the “great job” he has done as assistant director, and his education with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
“He is an outstanding leader and a person of strong character,” Morris added.
Collins began his career with Stokes County as a telecommunicator before working part-time for EMS in 1981. In 1984 he began working as a paramedic for the county. In 1994, Collins received his nursing degree from Winston-Salem State while working for the county. He has also worked part-time in the emergency room at Pioneer.
According to the Stokes County EMS website, Collins was promoted to “A” Shift supervisor in 1997 and to assistant EMS director in 2005.
His main focus as assistant director was on day to day operations. Taking over as director, Collins will also have an emergency management piece added to the job. Stevens spent much time working on grants and preparing for disasters, which Collins will now take over. Collins said “it will be a challenge” to take on that new role, but he will work diligently.
The emergency services field has changed quite a bit since Collins began his career in the ’80s. One of the biggest changes in emergency services has been with technology, Collins noted. “Technology has improved our service greatly,” he said.
The number of drugs paramedics have access to has increased, and paramedics have more freedom with today’s protocols to do an assessment and go ahead and act before arriving at a medical center or receiving direction from physicians.
Emergency services averages around 8,000 calls a year in Stokes, and excellent response to those calls will still be a focus, Collins said.
Collins’ wife, Susan, is a nurse at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and his son, Will, 15, is a student at North Stokes High School.