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Carpenter joins EMA July 27

Newly hired emergency management agency director Susan Carpenter will start her new job Mon., July 27.

Carpenter said Wednesday she will work out a two-week notice, and once she starts as EMA director, she will begin seeking new grants for the county.

“I’m so excited and honored the commission has chosen me,” Carpenter said. “Next Thursday, I will attend my first EMA area meeting and I’m looking forward to seeing the new faces and what’s going on. I first want to see what grants we have outstanding and others that we might be able to get.”

Preparations are already under way to install the new EMA office inside the county administration building on Hillcrest Drive. Carpenter hopes the office will be ready when she starts work.

Furniture, computers and other office-related items have been moved from the E-911 building on East Watson Street to the EMA’s new office. Currently, groundwork preparations are under way to move the radio tower from the E-911 property to county-owned property.

Next on Carpenter’s “to-do list” is viewing the county’s emergency mutual aid agreements and taking visits to local schools.

“We need to make sure those mutual aid agreements are all up-to-date,” she said. “I’m also going to visit all the schools before classes start back, to make sure the severe weather radios are working properly and that they have their emergency evacuation kits up to date.

“One of the biggest things about emergency management is being prepared, so those things, along with checking all the sirens in the county, is a good place to start, I think,” she said.

In May, the commission voted to split the E-911 and EMA in an effort to save $16,000 to $24,000 annually in expenses. Current E-911 director Kristy Stamnes will fill the role as the county’s EMA director until Carpenter officially begins work with the county.