AUSTIN (KXAN) — Robert Luckritz is the new Austin-Travis County EMS chief. Luckritz was sworn in to the position Friday afternoon.

“We talk about re-imagining public safety, but re-imagining EMS [as] truly being a health care hub that is focused on preventing illness and community wellbeing — more so than on taking people to the hospital,” Luckritz said.

Luckritz also said he wants to focus on recruiting and staff retention. The city and the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Association are in pay negotiations for new contracts. The city offered a 14-cent raise in April, which union representatives said was not enough.

Without an agreement, the parties will meet with a federal mediator.

Luckritz’s appointment was confirmed in February after five finalists for the job were named in January.

Luckritz has over 25 years of EMS experience and previously worked as the chief operating officer of Transformative Healthcare in New England, according to the city.

ACTEMS serves 2.2 million people across 1,000 square miles, according to the city. The chief is responsible for “strategic planning, leadership, and oversight of all operations of the EMS Department.”