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Published on January 12th, 2013 | by NSB Observer

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EVAC Administrator to Head Volusia Beach Patrol

Mark Swanson, a longtime administrator with Volusia County’s EVAC ambulance system, has been tapped by Volusia County Manager Jim Dinneen to head the county’s Beach Safety Division.

“We went through an extensive interview process, and Mark emerged as the person we all think has the administrative experience, skills and personality for what is a very high profile, critically important leadership position in the county organization,” said Dinneen. “Our approach to the way we manage the beach is evolving, and it’s essential we have a beach director who understands and can implement the changes we’re making.”

Swanson, 53, said he is looking forward to the challenges of his new post. “I am grateful Mr. Dinneen has placed his trust in me, and I can’t want to get started,” he said. “I completely support the direction we’re taking on the beach which emphasizes public safety and somewhat lowers the profile of our law enforcement requirements.”

Last beach season the county implemented several changes that increase the focus on public safety, enhanced customer friendliness and environmental preservation.

“Staff changes are part of our new approach to the way we manage the beach, which arguably, is Volusia’s most important natural resource and the cog that drives our economy,” said Dinneen.

Swanson already is a county government employee having joined the county staff with the county’s absorption of the EVAC ambulance operation under the Department of Public Protection which includes several public safety services including Beach Safety.

“He’s very impressive,” said George Recktenwald, the department’s director. “He has all the tools necessary to lead this division.”

Swanson joined EVAC in 1985 as a paramedic and rose through the ranks to his current position as the manager of clinical services, a post that oversees staff training, quality assurance, clinical services, professional standards and conduct.

In addition to his certification as a paramedic, Swanson is a Florida law enforcement officer having worked part-time for the City of Daytona Beach Shores. He began his career in 1979 as a firefighter/paramedic with the City of Port Orange. Swanson has a bachelor’s degree in supervision and management from Daytona State College.

Volusia’s full-time beach personnel are certified as lifeguards, paramedics and law enforcement officers. The division has an annual budget of $7.1 million with 84 full-time employees and more than 300 part-time lifeguards.

“Mark has done just about every job we do on the beach,” said Recktenwald. “This new position will call upon his multi-faceted background.”

Dinneen’s selection of Swanson will be presented to the Volusia County Council for confirmation at the council’s meeting on Jan. 24. His salary will be $96,000 annually.

*Picture Courtesy of OrlandoSentinel.com 

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