MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hess has named Matt Sturgeon as the new EMA deputy director.
Sturgeon, who currently lives in Copley in Summit County, will begin his duties July 1. Sturgeon and his fiance, Robin Young, have plans to find a home in Knox County.
A native of Summit County, Sturgeon, 27, graduated from the University of Akron with degrees in fire protection and emergency management.
He completed an internship with Medina County EMA and credits Medina County EMA Director Buck Adams with helping him choose his career path.
“He mentored me quite a bit and provided quite a bit of guidance to pursue a career in emergency management,” Sturgeon said.
He said other mentors had a part in stimulating his interest in the fire service, public safety and emergency management. “I began working as a paramedic in Lorain County in August of 2005,” Sturgeon said. He went on to work as a firefighter/paramedic for the Sharon Township Fire Department in Medina County. He is also a certified fire inspector.
Most recently, Sturgeon has worked under the guidance of Tuscarawas County EMA Director Patty Levengood as an independent contractor writing emergency management plans for that county.
Hess said while Sturgeon’s background and experience were impressive, he was most impressed with the candidate during his interview.
“Anybody can look good on paper, but during the interview process, when I had the chance to have a conversation with Matt, I was impressed with his values and his eagerness to learn,” Hess said Thursday after offering the job to Sturgeon.
“Besides his background and the things he has accomplished such as his firefighting training and his paramedic card, I spoke with the EMA directors he has worked with who had very good things to say about his work,” Hess said. “I felt he would be a good fit for our office as well as with the first responders that he may be working with.”
Sturgeon said he is excited to face the challenge of his new position. “I think getting to know the community is what I’m most looking forward to,” he said Thursday after accepting the job. “There will be a lot of exploring with I’m looking forward to quite a bit.”
The new deputy director said he has enjoyed the time he has spent in Knox County and the surrounding area in the past. “I have spent a lot of time at Mohican enjoying mountain biking and canoeing,” he said.
Hess said he plans to introduce Sturgeon to local emergency personnel in coming weeks. “I am going to be taking Matt around to the fire departments and law enforcement agencies we work with and introducing him before his start date,” Hess said.
The new deputy director will be trained in all aspects of emergency management according to Hess, as well as the duties to assist Hess in his capacity as 9-1-1 coordinator. Hess said ideally at some point in the future, Sturgeon would be able to step in to respond to an emergency in the event Hess is absent, as well as assist the director in all of his day to day duties.