911/EMS Breakup Imminent?

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Five years ago, it seemed like a good idea - consolidating Wood County's Emergency Services with the then new county-wide 911 center. But now, the county commission is being asked to separate the two agencies.

Emergency Services has had to take on additional responsibilities in the past few years. The biggest, in the wake of the war on terror, has been Homeland Security.   

"The Emergency Services director acts as the manager for the county," says K.C. Lindner, Wood County's acting Emergency Services director.  "And if he is busy working with 911, which is a separate, very important entity, where is he supposed to go?  So those days are definitely gone."    

Lindner, the county's compliance director, has also been acting director of Emergency Services since Terry Brown was fired in April.

    "It's a lot for me to do, compliance and emergency services together," Lindner says.  “So they're looking at a possible split which looks like it would afford the citizens the best protection and best services.”

The commission is expected to make a final decision Monday on the separation of agencies.