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County working to fill L-HEMA vacancies
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County administrators were busy working to fill two vacancies at the Liberty-Hinesville Emergency Management Agency during the heart of active hurricane season.
The director's position became vacant when Tom Burriss retired in December and the deputy director's part-time position opened about three weeks ago when David McIntosh resigned. He had been acting director since Burriss' depature.
County Administrator Joey Brown assured residents of the county that the LHEMA is still running smoothly and assistance to those in need are being carried out.
"At the current time the job is being sufficiently covered by Mr. (Bob) Sprinkel in conjunction with James Ashdown (fire administrator) and Sheri (Norman) of the EMA office," Brown said. "All three, along with myself, are infinitely familiar with contracts, procedures, and evacuations having put them in place to begin with. Since Mr. McIntosh's absence, members of the group have had to respond to HAZMAT spills, missing persons, bomb threats and monitor approaching storms."
McIntosh had not returned a phone call Tuesday to get a comment on why he left the position and Brown said he could not discuss it.
Brown said a screening committee of emergency services directors was selected to review applications and conduct interviews.
After a thorough review a decision was made Tuesday afternoon for the new Director.
"I am happy to report that Mr. Grady Mikel Hodges has been selected to fill the position as Liberty County EMA Director," Brown announced. "Mr. Hodges is a native of South Carolina and has extensive experience in the various emergency response fields including firefighter, paramedic, and Director of Emergency Services for Jasper County South Carolina. As Director of Emergency Services for Jasper County, Mr. Hodges managed the day to day activities of a consolidated service including Fire, EMS, 911, and EMA. Mr. Hodges is available to start immediately and is expected to begin work next week."
Brown said the County completed all necessary background checks and references on Mr. Hodges but he must still go though the Georgia Emergency Management Agency approval process which is expected to take approximately two weeks.
"We feel very good about the individual selected," Brown said.
The job for Deputy Director, a part-time position whose application process closes this week will be filled by Mr. Hodges who is expected to immediately begin interviews to fill that vacancy.
"I am happy that we have been able to acquire the services of Mr. Hodges and look forward to his move to the community and his assistance in EMA planning efforts," Brown said.

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