Emergency dispatch director resigns to take Mo. job
By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Janet Silvus, who began leading JeffCom in August 2010, will be the director of 9-1-1 emergency services in Marshfield, Mo., in the Springfield metropolitan area.
“She came in running and did a darn good job,” said Bob Hamlin, who heads the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management.
“I am really sorry to see her go.”
Silvus, whose last day will be March 15, said she was excited about the opportunity, “although I am sad to be leaving Washington.”
“I like it here, but my family had a hard time adjusting to the weather.”
In a sense, Silvus is returning home. Prior to moving here, she was a detention administrator in Independence, Mo.
Silvus earned $66,626 a year in Jefferson County.
The JeffCom board of directors will meet at 8:30 a.m. today at Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue, 101 S. Point Road, to consider naming an interim director.
“I'm really glad that the board has decided to hire an interim director instead of leaving it open for a long time,” said Silvus, who will attend the meeting but doesn't expect to be part of the selection process.
Prior to her arrival, the 9-1-1 position was vacant for more than a year.
The agency was overseen by Jefferson County Sheriff Tony Hernandez.
JeffCom Board Chairwoman Deborah Stinson, who serves on the Port Townsend City Council, said the board is not required to advertise for the interim director but will post the permanent position.
In addition to Stinson, the board includes Hernandez, County Commissioner John Austin and representatives of area fire commissioners and fire chiefs.
During Silvus' tenure, the agency managed a large equipment upgrade and became an independent agency instead of a branch of county government.
Silvus supervises 10 dispatchers.
“It's a tough job,” Hamlin said.
“You need to keep people in the seats 24 hours a day while managing sickness and vacation.
“Public safety depends on the dispatchers,” he added. “It's more than just answering the phone; it's the first line of public safety.”
Hamlin said the next director needs to have strong communication skills and should be willing to get out into the community.
“These programs need to be visible,” he said.
“Good communication skills are more important than technical skills.
“I think 9-1-1 is undersold. More people need to know what they do.”
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: February 27. 2013 6:17PM