Di­rec­tor ‘glad to be back’ with Cum­ber­land res­cue ser­vices again

Pli­akas re­turns in lead­er­ship role

Woonsocket Call - - Front Page - By JOSEPH B. NADEAU jnadeau@woonsock­et­call.com See CUM­BER­LAND, page A3

CUM­BER­LAND — The town’s new, and past, di­rec­tor of res­cue ser­vices, John Pli­akas, was found set­tling into his of­fice Fri­day morn­ing af­ter tak­ing on that role Mon­day.

Pli­akas had served as di­rec­tor of res­cue ser­vices in the late 1990s be­fore leav­ing for a job as a flight para­medic with Bos­ton MedF­light for 14 years.

“I’m glad to be back,” Pli­akas said of his re­turn to town duty. “It is a good depart­ment and I want to con­tinue to move it for­ward,” the new di­rec­tor said.

Pli­akas re­places Sean Thomp­son in the res­cue di­rec­tor’s of­fice. Thomp­son, a res­i­dent of

Lin­coln, took a sim­i­lar post in that com­mu­nity.

Pli­akas, a lo­cal res­i­dent, noted the Cum­ber­land Res­cue is the only mu­nic­i­pal res­cue ser­vice in the state with all of its mem­bers hold­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions as paramedics, the high­est level of cre­den­tial­ing avail­able for emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vice providers.

The Cum­ber­land Res­cue Ser­vice is op­er­ated by the town out of the town res­cue head­quar­ters at 1512 Men­don Road but will be mov­ing to the new Cum­ber­land Pub­lic Safety Com­plex on Di­a­mond Hill Road near the cur­rent po­lice sta­tion when that fa­cil­ity is com­pleted. The res­cue ser­vice is op­er­ated sep­a­rately from Cum­ber­land Fire District de­part­ments in the town.

Pli­akas will be work­ing on the tran­si­tion to a new head­quar­ters as part of his du­ties and is also look­ing to con­tinue the lo­cal depart­ment’s train­ing pro­grams.

He was the pri­mary author of the state’s new emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices pro­to­cols that were just re­leased by the state EMS Ad­vi­sory Board af­ter work­ing on them with many other EMS pro­fes­sion­als.

Pli­akas is also chair of the EMS Med­i­cal Af­fairs Com­mit­tee and is na­tion­ally cer­ti­fied as a tac­ti­cal para­medic and is a tac­ti­cal para­medic for a po­lice tac­ti­cal team in RI.

He has served as the for­mer Di­rec­tor of the Pro­gram of Paramedicine at the Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal of RI.

Even with all of his con­nec­tions to statewide EMS or­ga­ni­za­tions, it is good to re­turn to a place where he has al­ready spent a good por­tion of his ca­reer, ac­cord­ing to Pli­akas. “I’m glad to be back,” he said.

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