Friday, November 19, 2010

New Columbia 9-1-1 Administrator Hired


For Immediate Release Contact: Sally Jones 503 970-8403

Dee Wooley 503 728-3403

Columbia 9-1-1 Announces New Administrator Selection

Sally Jones, Columbia 9-1-1’s first Administrator, will retire on December 31, 2010.

The Board of Directors of the Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District announced Wednesday, November 17, 2010 that Richard (Rick) Whitehead of Austin, Texas, has accepted their offer of employment as the 9-1-1 District’s next Administrator, contingent upon successful completion of background investigation.

The Administrator is the chief executive officer, responsible for all functions and services of the District, and answers to the elected Board of Directors. The Board governs with the involvement of a statutory Advisory Committee which consists of all fire/emergency medical chiefs, the county sheriff, all police chiefs, the county emergency manager and any other public or private entity providing public safety in the jurisdiction. The Board also appoints five citizens to its annual Budget Committee.

“We are pleased with the very high caliber of candidates who responded to our announcement and participated in our screening processes. We are especially grateful to the many stakeholders that assisted the Board in our selection. With their help we met our goal of securing an individual that we believe is highly qualified to lead our critical services into the future with the professional skill and prudent approach our communities rightly expect and demand”, said Dee Wooley, Board President.

Administrator-Select Whitehead holds a bachelor of applied arts & sciences degree from Midwestern State University with major course work in criminal justice and public administration. He is a graduate of the FBI Academy, session #197 and the Leadership and Command College of Texas. He holds a Certified Public Manager designation from the Hobby Center for Public Services in Texas. His 30+ year career has spanned all aspects of military, municipal and county law enforcement including directing Emergency (9-1-1) Communications, Homicide, SWAT and Special Operations. He is an experienced and well respected public safety trainer. He has been responsible for various project implementations such as accreditation and regional radio & mobile data as well as working in collaboration with child protection, family violence task force and school resource officer units. Most recently Whitehead has served on the operations board of a combined transportation emergency communications center which fostered regional interoperability and new technology installations.

Whitehead and his wife, Deb, have three grown children - two sons who are both firefighters and a daughter who is a journalist. Whitehead plans to report to work in early December and work with the District’s current Administrator at least through December 31st to assure a smooth transition.

Sally Jones, hired in 1990 as Administrator when the 9-1-1 District was first formed by voters, plans to retire on December 31st. Jones, who began her emergency communications career in 1973 following a 2 year stint as nurse, said, “I have been so fortunate to experience myriad improvements in 9-1-1 services during my career - the most obvious of which is technologies that help us identify the location of emergencies, speed up response activations and support interoperable communications among field units. Also exciting to me, are the great advances in emergency medical pre-ambulance arrival support, increases in volunteer involvement, fire prevention and disaster preparedness programs and other partnerships we have with citizens and local businesses that enhance our ability to prevent injury and save lives. I will miss all that, but, I will miss the many extraordinary people I have worked with most of all. I am thankful for the Board’s careful selection of the next Administrator; Mr. Whitehead will serve our District mission very well and will continue our commitment to excellence in public service”.