EMS Standards Advisory Board

EMS Standards Board image
The EMS Standards Advisory Board makes strategic recommendations to support high quality emergency medical services in the county and plans for future needs.


  • 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
  • First Tuesday of each month
  • Harford County Government Building
    2220 Ady Road
    Forest Hill, MD 21050


The all-volunteer board is comprised of five members with expertise from the medical, EMS and business communities, and the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association. The board is advisory to the county executive and reports directly to Harford County Director of Emergency Services Edward Hopkins.

Duties are to make recommendations on:

  • Providing for and supporting high quality emergency medical services;
  • Strategies for efficient and effective services delivery, training and quality assurance; and
  • Suggesting methods for billing and collection of fees.

The EMS Standards Advisory Board will issue quarterly reports to the county executive and to the director of emergency services. The director will have the ability to create sub-committees to address specific issues as they arise.


  • Chair - John W. Donohue: has more than 35 years of professional experience in emergency services, including 34 years at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, where he most recently was the director of Interagency Incident Planning and Response. Now serving as the deputy director of emergency services for Cecil County, Mr. Donohue is a certified paramedic whose current appointments include chairing the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III Advisory Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he was the first graduate of the Emergency Health Services Program. He is a master’s degree candidate in that program.

  • Dr. Rajagopala Rao Tripuraneni, M.D., FACEP: Otherwise known as Dr. Rao, Dr. Tripuraneni was an emergency room physician with Upper Chesapeake, Harford Memorial Hospital and Fallston General for more than 40 years. During his tenure at Harford Memorial, he provided leadership within and outside of the hospital as director of emergency medicine for 17 years and as member of the Quality of Care Committee for 19 years. Dr. Rao loves EMS and was Harford County’s volunteer EMS medical director for 27 years. He retired from the clinical practice of emergency medicine in January 2020 and lives with his wife in Bel Air. 
  • Tami Wiggins: has more than 23 years of experience in Harford County’s Department of Emergency Services. She is the manager of the Training and Quality Assurance Branch and has spoken nationally and internationally to emergency professionals as an expert on personnel management, dispatch protocol procedures and quality assurance. She was integral to the county’s 911 Communication Center becoming the nation’s first Tri-Accredited Center of Excellence. She has been active in the volunteer fire and EMS services for more than 30 years, with experience as a provider of basic and advanced life support. Ms. Wiggins manages the county’s paramedic team and ambulance units.
  • Ben Kurtz: has held several leadership positions within the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association. He has served the citizens of Harford County for more than 48 years as a volunteer firefighter/EMT and 34 years as an officer of Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company. In addition, he has served the Maryland State Fireman’s Association for over 17 years. Mr. Kurtz recently retired as president and co-owner of E.G. Kurtz & Son Funeral Home in Jarrettsville.
  • Lawrence A. Richardson Jr., Esq.: is a Harford County resident with more than 30 years of experience working with business and government agencies in Maryland and Washington, D.C., who is an economic development associate for Harford County Government. He is the former vice president of government affairs for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and served for two decades as a government affairs representative for State Farm Insurance in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Mr. Richardson graduated cum laude from the University of Baltimore with a B.A. in political science/government and public administration and earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore.