Over the last 17 years, Tom Hart says he’s seen a lot of change in his department.
“We were in the basement of the courthouse in a little one room with 2 desks in it and that was it, now we have you know this state of the art facility that has been quite beneficial,” Hart said.
As the director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, he considers himself a first responder who dabbles in the details, details that keep his friends, neighbors, and co-workers safe.
The four full-time staff members work with every aspect of the county, but their main goal is to be visible.
Hart’s most memorable day on the job was during the chemical leak at the Axiall Plant.
Since that day, his department has upped their game, making tight relationships with oil and gas companies, upgrading their mass notification system and running drills for the future.
“It was a very dangerous situation and it affected so many people over that 2 state 3 county area and the idea that there could have been the potential for loss of life, and then also too the idea that it was something, you know, that we couldn’t control,” Hart said.
With his firefighter background, you’ll never find Tom far from any scene in the county.
He says the weight of the job can get heavy, but he keeps his sanity with the help from his family and his athletes at Cameron.
“Getting to coach and stuff like that it’s very rewarding, Go dragons, yes Go Dragons!”
The reward is the connections he makes, between agencies on scene, between counties, even states. But most importantly with the people.
“Actually I ran into one of the families I met from McMechen they were in the grocery line next to us, you know getting a handshake from the husband and hug from the wife and stuff like that it makes it very rewarding, it makes it easy to come to work every morning, there’s no times where you don’t want to get up and come to work, no, you definitely want to come to work everyday,” said Hart.