County has big shoes to fill as Jennings resigns

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2006

By Staff
Escambia County finds itself in a difficult position just two months before the start of hurricane season: without an emergency management director.
With the resignation of David Jennings - who, as one commissioner said, got a baptism by fire with Hurricane Ivan 18 months ago - county commissioners have an opportunity to find another good candidate for a job that is vital to our community's safety.
Jennings was new to the position and just reorganizing the emergency management office when Ivan struck in September 2004. But his organizational skills and his calm demeanor under pressure helped the community through the storm and its aftermath. He will certainly be missed.
County commissioners seem headed in the right direction in their search, as they are planning to advertise for the job through the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and in other postings. Escambia County needs a well-qualified director who can take the lead in coordinating disaster preparation and response.
We know weather forecasters have predicted 2006 to be one of the busiest hurricane seasons yet - and that comes on the heels of two of the strongest seasons we've seen in recent memory.
The county can be grateful that Jennings has offered to help train a new EMA director.
We hope the county can find someone with the same strengths and the same leadership to take us through another storm season.