French, Cole involved in AFC changes

Published 8:16 pm Monday, June 16, 2008

By Staff
In a continuing effort to increase operating efficiencies, Alabama State Forester Linda Casey has announced the recent reorganization of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC).
State coverage by the agency has been divided into six regions, where there were formerly only four. Each region is further divided into four work units, made up of two to four counties.
As a result of the restructuring, the following regional staffing changes were made, effective June 1:
Dan Lassetter, currently County Manager in Lamar County, was promoted to North Regional Forester and will have headquarters in Morgan County.
Hank McKinley, currently County Manager in Tuscaloosa County, has been promoted to Northeast Regional Forester and will have headquarters in Jefferson County.
Otis French, currently Southwest Assistant Regional Forester, has been promoted to Southeast Regional Forester and will have headquarters in Escambia County. Otis has been with the AFC for 23 years.
John Pirtle, currently Management Division Director, has transferred to become the Northwest Regional Forester and will have headquarters in Tuscaloosa County.
Bruce Springer, currently Southeast Regional Forester, has transferred to the East Central Region and will have headquarters in Montgomery County.
Gary Cole will remain as the Regional Forester for the Southwest Region, with headquarters in Escambia County.
Also effective June 1, staffing changes occurring at the Alabama Forestry Commission headquarters include:
Dan Jackson, currently County Manager in Walker County, has been promoted to Protection (formerly “Fire”) Division Director located at the State Office in Montgomery.
Walter Cartwright, currently Assistant Management Director, has been promoted to Management Director and will continue to operate out of the State Office in Montgomery.
Stephen May, currently Protection Division Director, has transferred to Rural Community Fire Protection Division Director. The creation of this new position will strengthen the partnership between the AFC and the rural volunteer fire departments across Alabama.
In a related matter, and consistent with all state agencies, it is absolutely essential for the Alabama Forestry Commission to be as cost effective as possible while remaining steadfast in accomplishing its mission in the safest possible manner. Based on the findings of a detailed cost-benefit analysis, the AFC will relocate all eight of its radio communication centers to a central dispatch center located in Montgomery County.
Restructuring of the agency's communications operations will provide an opportunity to offer a higher level of protection and safety not only for AFC employees, but also for landowners. The outcomes expected by moving to one centralized dispatch center include: