Edward J. Eckart Jr. Commissioner
Edward J. Eckart Jr., Commissioner of Emergency Medical Services, has spent his entire adult life in public service. In January of 2000 Mayor Michael R. White appointed Eckart to his current position where he is responsible for 250 employees and an annual budget of over $23 million. The Division of EMS is the primary provider of advanced life support pre-hospital medical care in the City of Cleveland. Recognized as one of the premier EMS systems in the country, Cleveland EMS responds to over 85,000 calls annually.
Born and raised in Euclid, OH, Eckart graduated from St. Joseph High School (currently Villa Angela/St. Joseph) in 1978 and attended The Ohio State University. He began his service with the City of Cleveland in 1981 as an Emergency Medical Technician and rose through the ranks of EMS where he held the positions of paramedic, supervisor, administrative supervisor, and chief of operations. Mayor Michael White recognized Eckart’s operational expertise in 1995 and promoted him to assist Safety Director William Denihan in oversight of the Divisions of EMS and Fire where he successfully implemented mutual response guidelines and many personnel management programs. Shortly thereafter, Eckart was appointed to the position of operations manager for Cleveland Public Power where he settled long standing labor relations issues and improved customer service and power outage response.
Under Commissioner Eckart’s leadership, the Division of EMS has implemented state-of-the-art technology, education, and quality assurance programs that have greatly increased operational efficiency while improving the quality of patient care. Cleveland EMS is one of a few municipally operated systems nationwide that operates with an electronic pen-based run report system that integrates CAD, I-Mobile on board computing, and Automatic Vehicle Locator System. Cleveland EMS is a State of Ohio accredited paramedic training site and is responsible for all pre-hospital care training and education for the Department of Public Safety. The quality assurance program has been nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and collaborative programs in the profession. Their community education program reaches over 20,000 people annually with blood pressure and glucose screenings, cholesterol checks, and AED/CPR training.
Eckart is married to wife, Mary, and has a daughter, Jillian, and son, Kevin.