Change in Command

Published 9:05 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

WINTON – Hertford County officials have made a variety of changes at the top of the two divisions responsible for aiding in emergencies here Monday.

During the August 2 meeting of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, new directors were named for Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services while a new Coordinator position was also created.

After a closed session to discuss the personnel moves, the board voted to name Chris Smith as Emergency Management Director/Fire Marshall at an annual salary of $48,000. He is set to begin work August 11.

Smith currently serves as Assistant County Ranger with the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources (Hertford County office). He has been in that post since 2004. Before that, he was a Forest Fire Equipment Operator with the division.

Smith has, however, served as a firefighter with the Union Rural Volunteer Fire Department since 1992, including his current service as Assistant Chief. In addition he has served as a volunteer EMT-D, worked with the Hertford County EMS Continuing Education committee and served as a member of the Hertford County Firefighters Association, N.C. State Fireman’s Association and North Carolina International Association of Arson Investigators among others.

He has also served in many in and out of state incident response initiatives.

Some of the certifications Smith has obtained include Prescribed Burner, EMS Instructor, N.C. Firefighters level I and II, NC Haz-mat Level I certificate, NC Emergency Vehicle Driver Certificate, NC Fire Inspector Level I and NC State Fireman’s Association Firefighters’ Advanced Professional Certificate.

Smith will replace Mike Leggett, who served just over a month in the post. Leggett was removed during his probationary period.

Hired on June 11, Leggett was released by the county on July 15.

“During a probationary period, we can release someone without judgment or cause, which is what we did,” Hertford County Manager Loria D. Williams said.

Leggett had replaced Charles Jones, who retired from the position.

As for Emergency Medical Services, James Broglin will be taking over as EMS Director on August 11. He too was appointed by a vote of the board. He will be paid $46,682 annually in the new position.

Broglin, who currently serves as the Winton Fire Chief, is certified as an EMT-Intermediate and has extensive training in emergency response.

He began working with Winton Rescue as a junior member at the age of 15 and has advanced through the training levels to EMT-I. In addition, Broglin has been in the Winton Fire Department for 28 years, serving the last 12 as Chief.

His experience included more than eight years service with Hertford County EMS and training in Emergency Management.

In addition to those changes, the county created an Emergency Services Coordinator position which will be filled by Penney Deanes. She had served as EMS Director, but agreed to be moved into the new post.

She will move into that position effective August 11 and her salary of $38,902 which will be the same as it is currently.

“This was just a restructuring of the department,” Williams said.

When the new changes take effect, the Emergency Management Director’s supervisor function over EMS will cease.