Emergency Deputy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Supervisors post job opening for Panola Emergency deputy

By Billy Davis

A one-page job description for a deputy director of Panola County Emergency Management is now posted at the county courthouses in Batesville and Sardis.

Supervisors on Monday agreed to keep the job description posted through a deadline of Friday, October 31.

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The job opening comes after supervisors last week moved deputy director Daniel Cole, 33, into the director’s post following the September 26 death of William “Son” Hudson.

Cole was working as a full-time Batesville firefighter when supervisors hired him as deputy director in October 2005.

With help from Cole, the job description includes a list of “musts,” including “first responder” experience, grant writing experience, and understanding of the Incident Command System, a reporting system used by fire departments, among a dozen criteria.

The deputy director will jump into a busy job that includes several hats: Emergency Management, Homeland Security, E-911, search and rescue, fire coordinator, and U.S. Census.

The Emergency Management office is more commonly known as civil defense. The agency may be best known for disaster response but also coordinates with the Miss. Emergency Management office, acts as a liaison for fire departments, and cooperates with Homeland Security, the federal agency.

The job will pay between $33,00 and $37,000 annually depending on experience.

Posting the job opening in public is a new commitment for the new board of supervisors. State law does not require that job openings are made public.

 The previous board hired Cole without announcing a search for a deputy director.

Supervisors agreed to accept either resumes or county job applications, which are available in the county administrator’s office in Batesville.

Both resumes and applications should be dropped off at the administrator’s office, Cole said.

When Cole presented the job description, supervisors agreed that the new director should handle the interview process.

“I think Daniel should have 90 percent of the input on the hiring,” said board president Gary Thompson.

“Whoever is hired doesn’t need to be forced on him,” Thompson continued. “He should be comfortable with the person because he’s got to work with them.”  

In related business, supervisors agreed on a 25-year lease agreement that will move Panola County EMA into the city-owned Miss. Army National Guard armory in Sardis.

The guard unit is vacating the property, creating an opportunity for Emergency Management to move from its 1,400-square-foot office into a larger building with five acres.

Terms of the lease included:

•Panola County pays insurance and any repairs and maintenance

•County use of the facility is limited to Panola EMA

•The City of Sardis can continue to use the facility for city-sponsored events.

Board attorney Bill McKenzie complimented Sardis attorney Tommy Shuler for crafting a “good, simple, straightforward” lease agreement.

Sardis Mayor Rusty Dye also requested that the property be named after longtime Guard member Billy Joe Ferrell. The facility will be known as the William J. Ferrell Emergency Operations Center.

In other county business:

•Saying a neighbor’s dog chased her child and killed other dogs, Upton Road resident Christie Colley asked supervisors to enact a vicious dog ordinance.

Colley said she had collected 182 signatures of people who support her effort.

“I’m not a dog hater. I have four dogs,” she said.  

Supervisors said they would look into her request.

•Supervisors voted to advertise for a new truck for the solid waste department.

Solid waste manager Jimmy Carlini made the request for a larger truck than the one that currently picks up trash in Batesville and other municipalities.

“That little truck is worn out,” Carlini said.  

•Sheriff Hugh “Shot” Bright advised supervisors that he wants to replace three ambulances used for garbage pickup with used but more dependable vehicles.

Three garbage crews using jail inmates currently pick up trash along Panola County’s roads.

“I really need a four-door truck – not new,” he said.