There has been a lot of controversy over the position of Emergency Services Director in St. Lawrence County over the past few months. Marty Hassett was asked to resign from the position in January after concerns regarding his performance were brought to the Board of Legislators' attention. As our Cara Thomas tell us, the search for a new Emergency Services Director ended Monday night after the board passed a resolution to appoint Joseph Gilbert to the job.
CANTON, N.Y. --"Mr. Gilbert certainly rose to the top, so I think he'll be a fine director of emergency services," said County Legislator Joseph Lightfoot.
After 21 applicants and three interviews, the committee chosen to find a new Emergency Services Director for St. Lawrence County unanimously voted that Joseph Gilbert was the best man for the job. The County Board of Legislators appointed Gilbert to the position Monday night.
Lightfoot said, "I think he will do a fine job. His military background and what he has done in the emergency services field certainly makes him look like a very good candidate."
Gilbert, an Ogdensburg native, was previously a training coordinator with Fort Drum. His last duty assignment was with the Department of Defense Crisis Emergency Management Team dealing with everything from hurricanes and tropical storms to oil spills and wild fires all over the country.
Gilbert said, "The most important part in emergency management in emergency services is really preparation and I've spent all my career in the military and that's all you do, is train, conduct exercises and prepare."
Gilbert begins his position as Emergency Services Director Tuesday morning and while he has goals for the department, he says he's going to get a feel for how things work now and go from there.
"I don't want to start rearranging the furniture until I've seen the house," said Gilbert.
And while controversy has surrounded the position in the past, Gilbert says that will not have any effect on his performance. He says now that the job is official, he's even more excited to get started.