MOUNT VERNON — The position of Emergency Management Agency director will remain separate from the 9-1-1 director and the process of hiring a new director will get under way immediately, the EMA board decided Thursday.
Knox County Safety and Loss Control Director Emily Marth will start advertising for applications to be submitted by March 23, after which a three-member committee consisting of Marth, Claude Gates and Commissioner Allen Stockberger (or his designee) will review the applications and submit a recommendation to the full board.
Richard Dzik, 9-1-1 director, who is serving as interim EMA director, will act as a non-voting advisor to the committee.
The decision to keep the EMA and 9-1-1 directors separate came following Marth’s report on how things are set up in other counties. Marth contacted 13 other counties of a size similar to Knox, and found that all employ a full-time EMA director and none combine the position with 9-1-1.
Assistant Prosecutor Chip McConville reminded the board that before they separated the 9-1-1 and EMA positions about a year ago, there were issues of control and responsibility that resulted from having one person report to two boards. As a result, he recommended keeping the posts separate.
He also told the board they should move quickly as there are planning issues coming up that need work, such as responding to spills or truck accidents related to the increased drilling expected in the county.