After 20 years of service with St. Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] and 35+ years in the emergency medical services industry, Chief Taz Meyer will retire on April 30. Assistant Chief Kelly Cope, a 25-year veteran of the District, will take the reins as Chief on May 1.
Meyer’s time with SCCAD is divided into two eras – he spent four years as a paramedic from 1989 to 1993 before taking opportunities to lead several EMS education programs in the St. Louis region. In 2004, he returned to SCCAD as Operations Coordinator, and was promoted to Chief in 2013. Under Meyer’s leadership, SCCAD has experienced substantial growth in call volume and added several innovative, value-added programs for residents of the community including critical care transport, mobile integrated health, and the American Ambulance Association award-winning Substance Use Recovery Response Team. During his tenure, the District was twice named ‘Service of the Year’ by the Missouri EMS Association [MEMSA].
“The ambulance industry has undergone a substantial evolution throughout my career, shifting from purely emergency response to a more holistic mobile healthcare model,” said Meyer. “I consider myself lucky to have worked with the innovative clinicians and support staff of SCCAD – I have no doubt that their commitment to excellence will continue under Chief Cope’s leadership.”
Cope, a MEMSA Paramedic of the Year winner, assumes the District’s most senior role after a three-year stint as Assistant Chief of Operations. He is a member of the Priority Ambulance Leadership Foundation Class of 2020, and a graduate of Fitch & Associates Ambulance Service Manager program. Prior to his promotion to Assistant Chief, he led SCCAD’s non-emergency transfer division as Battalion Chief and spent two decades treating patients as a front-line paramedic. Like Meyer, he credits SCCAD’s team of dedicated professionals for the organization’s success.
“Chief Meyer has been instrumental in the planning and development of numerous protocols and initiatives that have become models for other EMS providers regionally and even nationally,” said Cope. “He has positioned us well to continue developing and promoting best practices to integrated community healthcare for the 400,000+ residents we serve.”
For residents of Missouri’s largest ambulance district, Meyer and Cope expect the transition in leadership to be seamless. The pair have worked closely for several years on day-to-day operations as well as large-scale initiatives such as the District’s consolidated campus facility, which is expected to debut this fall.