Wise stepping down as OEM head

ELKINS – Randolph County Office of Emergency Management and E-911 Director Jim Wise has announced his intent to resign at the end of February, county officials confirmed recently.

Wise will resign effective Feb. 28, and the Randolph County Commission has already begun the process of searching for a replacement, County Commissioner Mike Taylor told The Inter-Mountain.

Taylor said commissioners plan to conduct interviews next week and are hoping to have a candidate by the middle of February.

“We are hoping for a transition period to phase in the new candidate and allow ample time for him to be comfortable,” Taylor said. “We’re going down to the deadline though.”

Taylor said the hiring process is somewhat lengthy because it includes an extensive background check for candidates and allows the chosen candidate time to put in their two-week notice with his or her current employer. Taylor also said that the Commission will hold a special meeting to announce who will replace Wise.

“Whoever it is has some big shoes to fill,” Taylor said. “When we combined the 911 director and the OEM director positions, we knew that we needed someone who could handle numerous responsibilities. Jim has taken great lengths to improve operations within the county and keep an open line of communication between the county, emergency agencies and the public. We appreciate his effort.”

Taylor acknowledged that the position brings with it a certain level of stress.

“Jim’s first week was during Superstorm Sandy and it was almost a baptism by fire for him,” Taylor said.

“He did an outstanding job then and throughout his tenure as the OEM director and he will be greatly missed.”

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.