A retirement reception was hosted Dec. 27 for Tom Burriss who served as the Liberty County’s Emergency Management Agency director for more than 25 years.
Burriss was formally recognized during the county retirement luncheon, but the reception allowed for a representative from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to present Burriss with a plaque and certificate of appreciation.
“Day and night really don’t really mean anything to Tommy. In the EMA, when they call you, you have to go,” state Rep. Al Williams said.
Williams thanked Burriss for “staying on the cutting edge” and “guiding the ship through the storm.”
He said the county owed him a “great deal of thanks and debt.”
“We take for granted the serenity we have but it can all change at the flash of an eye,” Williams said.
Through Burriss’ years of service, County Commissioner Connie Thrift said he has become “someone we can rely on.”
“Not too many people we can depend on to give that many years of service to the county,” Thrift said.
County Administrator Joey Brown described Burriss as “very professional.”
“(Burriss was) certainly a reliable source during disaster because of his experience,” Brown said. “It’s going to be very hard to fill his shoes.”
Burriss shared the credit of his service.
“EMA is not just me, but everybody,” he said.
Burriss acknowledged his family and thanked his wife, who he called his “best friend.”
He and his wife celebrated their 30-year anniversary this month and plan to travel to Brazil.
Burriss most enjoyed “helping people” through the course of his career.
“We’re all put here for a reason and I believe I’m here to help people. It’s been good,” he said. “I haven’t regretted it.”