Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown called Tom Wahl one of the most knowledgeable 911 directors in the state and a man who had a lasting impact on Liberty County’s emergency communications.
Tuesday, friends and family mourned Wahl’s passing.
The Pennsylvania native was found dead in his home Monday when coworkers went to check on him after he didn’t come in to work. Wahl, 59, reportedly was alone in his home when he was found and apparently died of natural causes.
Hinesville Police Department Chief Detective Chris Reid said there was nothing out of the ordinary about Wahl’s death. Police were called in to investigate because state law requires it when deaths are “unattended.”
There was an outpouring of sympathy on Wahl’s Facebook timeline Monday night in response to news of his death.
His sister Linda Wahl-Schreiner, posted, “There are no words that do justice for my feelings. You were always there for me. From intimidating boyfriends to walking me down the aisle. Late night conversations and morning hikes to my favorite spots. I cannot fathom that it’s all come to the end. I will miss you always.”
“Tom Wahl was an outstanding 911 director, person and friend,” Morgan Shannon posted. “His style was direct, yet supportive and always gave you the best advice to help you succeed. He will be missed as he left his legacy on the 911 community.”
Wahl previously worked for Bucks County 911 in Pennsylvania. Wahl began his career at the LCPSC office in August 2003.
He served as the second vice president of the Georgia Emergency Number Association Board. He also was the groups past regional director.
Brown said Wahl was the driving force in modernizing the local 911 system.
“Tom was one of the most knowledgeable folks probably in the state of Georgia on 911 system operations,” Brown said. “Filling those shoes will be very difficult. He has done a lot to move us forward and to help us prepare for the next generation of 911. I am blessed to have folks that have worked under him who are very capable in keeping that vision alive.”
Just last week the county commissioners approved a $438,000 purchase of software needed to upgrade the system. Next month commissioners expect to vote on the hardware portion of the project, computer servers and workstations.
Brown said he met with LCPSC employees Tuesday morning and they are more motivated now than ever to see the project to the finish.
“They are looking forward to doing that,” Brown said. “The mission will go on…But it is a huge loss for us…Tom was a major player in helping to design the new 911 system…I’m disappointed that Tom, at least from here, will not get to see that new equipment go in.”
Lewis Levine contributed to this report.