CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County has plans to soon change the management and staffing of its Emergency Management and 911 departments.
At a special salary board meeting Tuesday, Commissioner John A. Sobel, chairman, explained that the county’s EMA and 911 departments were merged into one entity about 15 years ago.
He said because of the important role of the 911 Center and its increase in call volume, the commissioners have decided to separate this single department back into two entities.
Controller Tom Adamson reminded the commissioners of an old saying: “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” He said the current management has been in place for a long time and works very well.
However, at the request of the commissioners on Tuesday, the salary board voted, 3-1, to:
- create the position of 911 director and set the salary at $46,000 annually, effective Nov. 19.
- create the position of EMA director and to set the salary at $46,000 annually, effective Nov. 19.
- collapse the position of EMA/911 director, effective Nov. 25.
- collapse the position of deputy director of planning/EMA, effective Nov. 21.
Effective Nov. 25, Sobel said Dave McClure will fill the position of 911 director. He’ll be tasked with the management of the 911 Center, its staff and radio communications equipment, etc.
McClure will represent the county on the Northwest Regional Taskforce, and also serve as the liaison between Clearfield County 911 and fire departments, emergency responders and police.
Sobel said McClure has served many years as a 911 dispatcher as well as in deputy director positions in the 2000’s before being promoted to EMA/911 director, a position he held for 14 months.
According to Sobel, McClure left county employment to work in the natural gas industry for several years before resuming his county employment in his current role as a 911 dispatcher.
Jeremy Ruffner will continue to serve as the 911 coordinator and Kylie Collins will hold the position of 911 Quality Assurance. Both will work directly under the supervision of McClure.
The county’s EMA department will be under the supervision of Director Joe Bigar and Scott Mignot will remain as the deputy director of operations and training.
The commissioners eliminated the position of EMA director of planning because Bigar will also assume all the responsibilities and duties assigned to that position.
During four, separate votes, Sobel and Commissioners Tony Scotto and Mark B. McCracken voted in favor, while Adamson opposed because he said the changes will result in negative cash flows.
Adamson said by collapsing the deputy director position, the county will eliminate an income source of $37,000 from the state for the 50 percent reimbursement for wages/benefits.
He said by creating the new 911 director position, it will increase the wages and benefits to the 911 Fund, which will decrease funding available for 911 upgrades and maintenance.
“I have never heard of any problems with our 911 or EMA [departments] to warrant such a drastic change,” Adamson said.