MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County EMA Board will not rush to hire a new director to replace Brian Hess, who was fired Jan. 13. Instead, they will take the time to assess the duties of the job and re-examine whether the 9-1-1 and EMA directors should be separate positions.
Board Chairman Allen Stockberger said he had anticipated that research on the position and its duties would be completed by Tuesday and they could start the process of advertising the position. However, that process is not done and he had Emily Marth, Safety and Loss Control director for the county, explain what she was doing to prepare a review for the board. Richard Dzik, 9-1-1 director, also reviewed aspects of the EMA job, which he is filling temporarily in addition to his regular post.
Marth said she had not completed the full review because of other duties, however she and Dzik had several points to go over with the board.
She said that soon after Hess’ departure she started looking into the status of several grants EMA has had, as well as consulting with departments in other counties of similar size to find out how their EMA offices operated. The status of all the grants needs to be assembled to get a clear picture of the agency’s finances, she explained.
Dzik went over the status of state grants from 2008, 2009 and 2010. The county is approaching a deadline at the end of February to have the “planning” paperwork completed for the grant that went into setting up the agency’s mobile communications center, which is already complete.