Dare County welcomes John Watts as the new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director. Watts joined Dare County in June 2013, after serving as Environment of Care Manager at CaroMont Health in Gastonia, North Carolina.With over 30 years of combined experience in emergency services, Watts is highly regarded for his expertise in administration, training, policy development, rapid response and recovery, and emergency management. As Dare County's Director of EMS, Watts will lead a department of 95 staff members at eight stations and manage a budget of over $10 million.
Watts extensive professional career includes serving as Emergency Preparedness and Safety Coordinator, CaroMont Health in Gastonia, NC; Regional Emergency Response and Recovery Coordinator, Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC; Administrator and Major, Lincoln County Emergency Medical Services in Lincolnton, NC; Adjunct Instructor, Gaston College in Dallas, NC; Paramedic in various areas of New York; and EMT/Firefighter in Monroe, NY.
"Dare County has a proud history of providing excellent emergency medical services to our residents and visitors," said County Manager Bobby Outten, "and John is committed to continuing that tradition. He joined Dare County EMS at the busiest time of the year and has made it a seamless transition, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the program."
In accepting the new position, Watts remarked, "I look forward to tackling the unique challenges EMS faces due to the geography of the area and the seasonal influx in population. Dare County EMS will continue to provide quality emergency medical services to both residents and visitors and I am excited to be a part of such a dedicated team."
Watts was a responder following the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack and for various North Carolina flood emergencies. He has served in general staff capacities as Public Information Officer, Medical Officer and Incident Commander to mass casualty incidents, and drowning search and recovery. Watts has actively worked in developing innovative EMS education throughout Lincoln County, NC and works in collaboration in regional educational initiatives as a member of the Metrolina Disaster Preparedness Group.
Watts is a graduate of New York Medical College with a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management with a specific focus in Emergency Services Administration. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Organismal and Environmental Biology from State University of New York at New Paltz.