New Director of Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Berkeley County officials announced today that Steven Cotter will head up the county’s EMS operations. The appointment comes on the heels of a two-month search for a new department director. Cotter, the former head of Emergency Medical Services at Piedmont Hospital in Rock Hill, South Carolina, brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and measurable results to Berkeley County. He has also directed EMS operations for Sedgwick County, Kansas and Laurens County, South Carolina and was a shift commander in Greenville County, South Carolina. “What struck us the most about Steven Cotter is he didn’t just tell us about his accomplishments, he provided measurable results and statistics,” explains Dan Davis, Berkeley County Supervisor. “In his previous position, he redesigned deployment processes to help increase coverage and reduce response times. Although we have one of the best EMS programs in the state, we are excited about the ideas he will bring to help the department run more efficiently and provide expanded services to our citizens.” Highlights of Cotter’s performance outcomes include:

  • Reducing labor operating costs by redesigning the department’s ambulance scheduling processes. 
  • Redesigning the ambulance deployment process resulting in: 
    • an aggregate increase in ambulance coverage capability from 79% to 95% of peak call demand 
    • a reduction in the amount of deployed ambulance unit hours by 3370 hours resulting in a $236,000 decrease in ambulance deployment costs 
    • a reduction in county wide average response times of two minutes and 14 seconds (2012) 
  • Reducing annual employee turnover rates from 38% in 2010 to 8% in 2013 
  • Reducing work related injuries by 52% through 2012 
  • Increasing return of circulation for cardiac arrest patients from 9% to 33% and survival to discharge from 2% to 14% (2012) 

Under Cotter’s leadership, the Emergency Medical Services department at Piedmont Medical Center was named a 2014 Nicholas Rosecrans award recipient by JEMS Magazine, which recognized their “Safe Kids” program designed to reduce injuries in children. In Spring 2013, Piedmont Medical Center named Cotter, Leader of the Quarter. 

Cotter becomes active in the community in which he lives and works, serving on numerous boards and committees. He also contributes articles to esteemed publications including: EMS Magazine, Advanced Rescue Technology, and The Paramedic. 

Cotter earned an Associate of Health Science from Greenville Technical College. He furthered his education with a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University.

His expected start date is July 21, 2014.