MOULTRIE -- Two interim directors have been named to permanent positions at the county E911 Center and Emergency Management Agency.
County Administrator Brian Marlowe announced Thursday that Julie Martin will lead the E911 Center while Chris Wainwright will be in charge of the Emergency Management Agency.
Both positions were previously held by Oscar Grantham, who resigned in early March after allegations of sexual harassment.
Martin, 29, was chosen from a field of nine applicants for the new department head position. She has been acting as interim director for E911 since Grantham's departure.
Martin doesn't have the preferred qualification of a relevant college degree, but she took nursing courses for about a year and a half before working in law enforcement in Cook County. Marlowe said he felt like her training and background in 911 made her "without a doubt" the most qualified.
"I am very confident in her ability to serve in that capacity on behalf of Colquitt County and very excited to have her on board as the E911 director," Marlowe said. "She has been a good employee for us, and I think she'll do well out there. I have all the confidence in the world."
Before taking a position as head dispatcher in Colquitt County in 1997, Martin worked as a communications officer in Lowndes County, which used a computer aided dispatch system.
Colquitt County is beginning to implement E911's second phase. By July, the whole county should be mapped so dispatchers can pinpoint caller locations, Martin said.
The new E911 director will supervise 18 employees. Most of them -- if not all -- are women, who Martin thinks will feel more comfortable approaching her than they did her predecessor.
"I'm very excited to be able to work with department heads and Brian Marlowe. I think we have a lot of wonderful people working for the county," Martin said.
Married and pregnant with her second child, Martin said she plans to take only a couple of weeks off when she delivers.
Interim EMA Director Wainwright, 44, served as director for two years before Grantham was hired in February 1997 and the county combined the position with the E911 directorship. Before that, he acted as deputy director of Colquitt County emergency services for 10 years.
Wainwright will coordinate agencies and act as liaison with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency during emergency and disaster situations, such as the tanker spill Wednesday.
Having those responsibilities again divided makes sense to him, he said.
"When things happen, you need to concentrate on that and not have to worry about the communications side working, or you can do like I did (Wednesday) and stay on scene and coordinate things as needed," he said.
Currently, the position is part time, but the local EMA director's role could be beefing up in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
"The way things are coming since Sept. 11, a lot of things are being looked at more closely is the best way to describe it," he said.
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