County to get new Emergency Management Director in 2020
The Dewey County Emergency Management Department will have a new director in the coming year as the current head of the department is gradually moving out of the position.
Current Director Lisa Branson has shifted from full-time to part-time in the position, with the intention to leave the department entirely for new endeavors sometime within the year. Branson will remain with the department through the search and selection process and has said she will be happy to stay on board to help train the new hire to ensure Dewey County is prepared for the future.
“I pretty much had to learn on the fly, I did not have much guidance coming into the position,” said current Emergency Management Director Lisa Branson. “I will definitely work with the incoming director and help as much as I can to leave Dewey county in great, capable hands.”
The search process for a new director has not yet started, but according to County Commissioner Dillon Berry, the county is expecting to have the search begin sometime into the new year with a selection timetable not yet determined.
The selection decision will be made by the Dewey County Commissioners after a search takes place said Berry, “We will post advertisements, accept applications for a certain time period and make a selection from there.” Berry also mentioned there is not a definitive timeline for this process yet. “We’re not in a time crunch, which I’m grateful for, so we’ll probably start accepting applications soon just so we can go ahead and get started, but we’re not under the gun.”
The Emergency Management Department is tasked with preparing for, responding to and helping to manage any disaster that may strike in Dewey County. The department also helps members of the community to plan for emergency and have their affairs in order when something like a fire or tornado comes into play.
The department works with federal and state organizations, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency, to secure funding through grants and stay up to date on regulation requirements. Additionally, the department works closely with local public safety officials, such as medical, police and fire services, to put in place plans to respond to disasters and to keep track of assets, like firetrucks and ambulances, that can be available in times of emergency.
While the position will be part time in 2020, Branson emphasized that she will be working when necessary in cases of natural disasters and other emergencies, or, as she stressed, when anyone in the county needs help from the department.
“We try to help people have a plan in place so when emergencies happen we can minimize loss of life, loss of property and have the best response at the ready. And we will continue to do that,” said Branson.