POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission has chosen a new director for 911 and the office of emergency services.
Dennis Zimmerman was unanimously appointed to the position, effective Dec. 1, following the retirement of current director Chuck Blake on Nov. 30.
“He brings a wealth of experience and skills to this position and we look forward to working with him in the future,” Commission President Tracy Doolittle said on behalf of herself and Commissioners Miles Epling and Rick Handley.
Zimmerman, who was at the meeting, thanked the commissioners for the appointment and said he looked forward to working with everyone in the future.
“I feel confident you’ll do a great job for us,” Handley said.
Zimmerman is currently a consultant for the United States Department of Homeland Security with its Center for Domestic Preparedness. Also, as a hazmat/medical specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue Team in Phoenix, Ariz., he responded to the following large scale emergencies: Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1995, the summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. in 1996, the World Trade Center Attack in New York, N.Y. in 2001, Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He was also a Cpt. Paramedic Hazmat Technician for the City of Phoenix from 1983-2008. He also holds several FEMA and Phoenix fire certifications.
Though Zimmerman’s wife Angie is from the area, he is not but the couple has resided in the county for a few years, now living in Gallipolis Ferry. Zimmerman said his first goal is to get to know as many people as possible in the county and to understand everyone’s role.
“I’m not here to take command from the agencies out there,” Zimmerman said. “My job is primarily to coordinate and assist people in the field with the things they need and coordinate all the resources in the county.”
Zimmerman said since he retired from the City of Phoenix, he’d been traveling across the nation working in emergency management so when the opening for the OES job became available, he said he wanted to put his skill set to use where he has made his home.
“I look forward to it, I think I bring a lot to the table and I think people will be pleased and people will have a chance to get to know who I am,” he said.
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