The Morgan County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency will be under new leadership by the end of the month.
Phil McCarty, who worked for Global Technical Systems in Jacksonville for the past 12 years, is in the process of taking over as Emergency Management Director and 911 Coordinator for the local agency.
McCarty was a guest this morning on WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” program and says he is ready for the new challenge.
“I’m excited to take the new position and the people here before me did a great job which will make the transition easier. I have a background in communications and have volunteered for the office for the past ten years,” says McCarty.
McCarty says preparation is a key aspect of his new position.
“Sometimes we are preparing for the known emergencies, like weather, that may happen and other times it is the unknown,” says McCarty.
“We spend a lot of time working with fire departments, police departments, city works and public officials to prepare for those events that might happen.”
With winter weather in full force in Illinois, McCarty says now is the time to prepare for an emergency situation while on the road.
“Make sure you are prepared if you go off in a ditch with blankets, plenty of fuel in the car and that your cell phone is charged,” says McCarty.
“We don’t want to talk or text on our phones if we are driving, but if you get in an accident it is something that might save your life. Be aware of where you are at and slow down. Make sure you take care of your elderly as well.”
McCarty talks about his responsibilities as a 911 coordinator.
“When you or anyone in the community dials 911, you want to make sure someone answers your call on the other line and knows where you are at,” says McCarty.
“At our office, we make that happen on the backside. We don’t answer the phones, but we make sure the address is correct and all the information is provided to the dispatchers so they can do their job appropriately.”
McCarty says the Morgan County ESDA gets a huge boost from volunteers year round.
“We try to prepare them and put them where their skill set fits,” says McCarty.
“We try to see what their desire and involvement is, against the job task that we have available. There may be training that the state offers that they can take. Putting people in a position where they can succeed and enjoy helping is a win-win for both of us.”
McCarty says volunteers are always welcome at any time.