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UPDATED: Commissioners authorize new 9-1-1 coordinator position

Cary Ashby • Updated Sep 1, 2017 at 4:36 PM

UPDATE — 4:35 p.m. Sept. 1, 2017:

Bill Ommert died Thursday afternoon after a battle with lung cancer. Look for a tribute story soon.

Ommert was the interim director of the Huron County Emergency Management Agency until his death.

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ORIGINAL STORY — published at 10 a.m. Sept. 1, 2017:

It’s official. Huron County will have a full-time 9-1-1 coordinator, but the search for a new director of the Emergency Management Agency takes priority.

The county commissioners approved creating the new 9-1-1 coordinator position and advertising this week.

Former Huron County EMA Director Jason Roblin, who resigned effective July 28, told the board during his exit interview that such a position would be helpful in the future. 

Bill Ommert is the interim director. He was the EMA director for 18 1/2 years, starting in January 1991 and serving the county until his Aug. 31, 2009 retirement.

“The EMA is spending a lot of time on 9-1-1 things,” Commissioner Skip Wilde said Thursday.

Wilde said the commissioners didn’t realize just how much time Roblin was spending on it until his exit interview.

The 9-1-1 coordinator will be a full-time, exempt, unclassified position and will be supervised by the EMA director. According to the job description, the coordinator, among other responsibilities, “ensures that the PSAP equipment works properly and efficiently and has authority to correct deficiencies” and will provide “oversight and some training for (the) PSAP operators.”

PSAP, which stands for public-safety answering point, refers to the four, local law-enforcement agencies that receive 9-1-1 calls — the Huron County Sheriff’s Office and the Norwalk, Willard and Bellevue police departments.

Also, the 9-1-1 coordinator will compile statistical reports on 9-1-1 activity in Huron County, plan for and recommend “ongoing expansion, enhancement of the 9-1-1 system” and handle “all matters revolving around the master street address guide.”

Commissioner Terry Boose has said the new position “would be a huge help to the EMA director.” The 9-1-1 committee worked with the commissioners on the job description and how to fund the new position.

When asked about the funding, Wilde said it hasn’t been resolved completely, but will be divided between the cities, townships and villages.

The commissioners have started receiving applications for the EMA director. 

“We have four (applicants) we’re looking at interviewing,” said Wilde, who noted one person is from as far away as California.

Finding the permanent EMA director is a priority for the commissioners.

“We are working on that ASAP. The 9-1-1 (job) will be coming,” Wilde said. “EMA interviews will start soon.”

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