Souhegan Valley Ambulance taps assistant chief for interim leadership

  • Wendy Leger Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/4/2020 11:40:12 AM

Souhegan Valley Ambulance Chief Daryl Oja has retired from the department, after several decades of service.

The Souhegan Valley Ambulance is a private nonprofit that provides contracted services to New Ipswich and Greenville.

Oja has been a part of the ambulance service for more than 30 years, and the department has been preparing for him to step away from his role as the chief operating officer as he neared retirement, said Souhegan Valley Ambulance Board of Directors Chair Jim Hicks in an interview Wednesday.

“It was not unexpected. He has been here a long time,” Hicks said.

Oja’s official last day was Sept. 1, though he has agreed to provide consultation services to the ambulance service during the transition period to a new chief, as needed.

Wendy Leger, who has been the assistant chief since January 2019, has stepped into the chief role on an interim basis for the remainder of 2020. Leger has been a member of the department since 2008.

“I think she’s a very organized person from an administrative standpoint, and a very good EMT,” Hicks said. “She’s the type of person who will respond to a bad call, even if she wasn’t on that day.”

Hicks said an example of that was a recent tent collapse which occurred at a religious revival in New Ipswich, where multiple people were injured, triggering a response from ambulance services around the region. Knowing extra hands were needed, Leger responded, he said.

“She’s been a valuable member of this service,” Hicks said.

Leger will lead the department until January, when the board of directors is scheduled to take up the issue of appointing a new chief on a permanent basis. The board of directors is required to chose a current member of the department who is qualified with an Advanced EMT certification, which currently includes three members of the department, including Leger.

There are currently 14 EMT or Advanced EMT personnel and six drivers employed by the ambulance service.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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