Originally created 03/10/99

Columbia County names three finalists for post



Columbia County officials have narrowed the field of emergency services director applicants to three in hopes to have the position filled by the end of April.

Twenty-three people applied for the job last month, including Richmond County Emergency Management Agency Director Pam Tucker and Columbia County's acting EMA Director Scott Sherman. Both were named as finalists Tuesday night for the $46,000-a-year job.

The other finalist, Lt. Col. Kevin M. Burr -- a battalion commander at Fort Meade, Md. -- has 23 years of military experience, mainly focusing on emergency management-related activities. He said the military amenities of Augusta attracted him.

"Anytime you can retire and do something you not only want to do and like to do, and plus be able to take care of the military facilities that retirees have available -- great," he said.

Mrs. Tucker -- who's lived in Columbia County for 19 years -- has worked for Richmond County's EMA for 21 years, including 15 as director.

"I've been through everything -- the mitigation, the planning part, the preparedness, the responses, the recoveries, presidential declarations, risk management planning with companies, just the whole gamut," she said. "In the 21 years, we've accomplished a lot."

Mr. Sherman has worked for the Columbia County EMA for three years. He's also a member of the county's volunteer rescue unit and is a certified CPR instructor, water safety instructor and master diver trainer.

Mr. Sherman could not be reached Tuesday night.

Officials cannot make a decision on the job for 14 days, which would put the issue on the table for the commission's April 6 meeting. However that meeting falls on the Tuesday of Masters Week, and likely will be canceled. The commission could then vote on the job at its April 20 meeting.

Jason B. Smith and S.B. Crawford can be reached at 868-1222, Ext. 115, or ccchron@augustachronicle.com.