The Fulton County Office of Emergency Management welcomes a new coordinator, Darrel Zimmer of Viola. Zimmer began his new job as OEM coordinator March 17 and will have a full plate of duties after the recent flooding, but he says he is doing great.
Darrel said with all the county damage he is working his way through the large amounts of paperwork necessary to assess all the damage as well as receive funding from the state and federal government.
"Right now, I am getting all that caught up. You really have to account for everything," Zimmer said.
With over 2,000 miles of roads, accounting for everything is no small task. There are 596 roads in Fulton County that have to be assessed and evaluated, according to Fulton County Judge Charles Willett, who works closely with Zimmer.
"I have been going all around the county with FEMA and all those guys. We have been getting damage assessments, all the stuff they need to issue their declarations for emergency help," Zimmer said.
"Sycamore Creek Circle Road there is not even a road left anymore. There is just massive damage everywhere, just about every county road is damaged county wide," Zimmer said.
Zimmer has a history of working municipal services and helping the public. In conjunction with his position with the county he works for the city of Viola as the water superintendent. In addition, he is a member of the Viola Fire Department.
Zimmer works hand in hand with the Fulton County Judge's Office and former OEM coordinator and Salem Police Chief Al Roork. Zimmer said, Roork will now serve as the OEM Deputy Coordinator.
Working in the position with the city of Viola and the new OEM position doesn't present any conflicts, Zimmer said.
"It works out really well because I am in the office in Viola the first 10 days of the month. With all the OEM paperwork, I can do that in the office. So, it fits together real good," he said.
"Planning is what we will be doing when we are not doing emergency stuff. Planning for if this happens again. Looking at what we did and how we can make it better," Zimmer said.
The OEM position requires a lot of training that Zimmer will soon undergo although he already has some preparation.
"I have part of the training already because I am on the Viola Fire Department. I have had NIMS National Incident Management, classes and that deals with the incident command system. There is a system of who is in charge of each scene; each person has a different assignment that they are required to do and incident command makes sure all that happens," Zimmer said.
Zimmer said he will continue to work toward solutions for the situation with the roads and any emergency that requires his attention.