Trial by hurricane: Adams takes EMA job just in time
Published 8:11 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2006
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
David Adams may be tried by wind and rain - not fire - this year as he becomes director of the Escambia County Emergency Management Agency.
Just in time for hurricane season, Adams replaces David Jennings, who left the position for work in the private sector.
Adams has worked for 27 years with the Century Fire Department and served as fire chief from 1983 to 1986 when he stepped down to become assistant fire chief.
Adams has been with the city of Flomaton for the past 15 years in the utilities and public works departments and has assumed many responsibilities during that time. He helped to handle hurricane recovery after both Ivan and Dennis, so he is familiar with working with the state and federal agencies in emergency situations.
This summer has been predicted to be even worse for hurricanes than previous years. That is first and foremost on the minds of citizens and officials who have to deal with it.
Preparation will be key, Adams said.
Hurricanes may be foremost on the minds of most residents after Ivan, but there are other reasons to be prepared for emergencies, Adams said. The area is known to have floods and tornados as well. There is even the possibility of any number of other threats including toxic waste spills or even terrorists. Adams said he will be ready for whatever comes along.
Adams was raised in Century, Fla., and graduated from Century High School in 1978. He was the only boy in the family and raised with two sisters.
He was an active boy growing up and played sports in school, but he was an excellent academic student. Like many others his age, he had no idea what he wanted to do for a career, but after high school he attended Jefferson Davis Community College for a while. He then got a job working in Swift Supply in Atmore in retail sales and stayed there about three years.
He married his wife, Barbara Johnson, in 1981. They became the parents of Stephanie Dawn Adams in 1984.
Adams went on to construction work and got a job as a pipe fitter's apprentice and worked his way up to pipe fitter. He did some offshore work where he said he had to learn the job in a hurry because of the long hours. He came back and worked at the St. Regis oil plant in Jay, Fla., for about three years.
Family pulled Adams closer to home.
Adams is the superintendent of public works in Flomaton and, except for police work, his expertise keeps him involved with the other city departments. He also contracts for the rural water system, including the town of Pollard until that town got its own system. He continues to work with the Century Fire Department and lends assistance to the Flomaton Fire Department when he is needed.
With all his many and varied jobs, Adams says he doesn't have much time for play.
He has given in to one of his dreams. He and his wife bought a motorcycle - and Adams said the high price of gasoline had something to do with the purchase.
Adams likes to fish and said he is very handy. He and his wife completed building their own home in 2004 and did much of the work themselves.