By WECT Staff | April 10, 2020 at 11:01 AM EDT – Updated April 10 at 11:01 AM
LELAND, N.C. (WECT) – A familiar face has been selected as the Town of Leland’s first emergency management director.
Longtime Leland Fire-Rescue Chief John Grimes has been hired to fill the newly created position.
“The addition of an emergency management director is something we have discussed for quite some time, and Chief Grimes is the right fit for that position, given his considerable emergency preparedness expertise, as well as his knowledge of our community and his reputation both statewide and nationally,” said Leland Town Manager David Hollis.
Grimes has served with the Leland fire department for 30 years, including 26 of as chief. He became the town’s first career fire/rescue chief in 2017, when the department became a service under the Town of Leland.
“I am humbled to have worked with an incredible staff over the years and to have been part of such a great organization with a rich history and culture,” said Grimes. “That said, I am enthusiastic about this opportunity to take a more proactive role in preparing the Town and its residents for responding to disasters and emergencies.”
Grimes said that the ongoing spread of COVID-19 highlights the importance of that preparation.
“COVID-19 is, understandably, foremost on everyone’s minds at this time and, in a lot of ways, it’s new territory for public health and safety officials across the globe,” he said. “This pandemic certainly brings to light the need for certain preparedness strategies moving forward, but there are many situations for our area – including hurricanes and tornados – for which ongoing planning is crucial.”
Grimes will remain in his current role while also preparing for his transition to emergency management director until a new fire chief is hired.
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