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Emergency services coordinator leaving for job in North Carolina

Kirby Saunders will leave his position as Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator on June 20.

Saunders said Tuesday he has accepted the position as Orange County, North Carolina, Emergency Management Coordinator effective June 30.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each of you and feel confident, together, we have laid a strong foundation for the future of public safety in Halifax County,” Saunders said in a press release on Tuesday.

Saunders, a Halifax County native, said Tuesday he would miss the people he worked with most closely on a day-to-day basis, especially the volunteer fire and rescue and emergency personnel, who are called away from their homes, families and jobs at a moment’s notice to emergency situations without compensation.

Saunders believes Emergency Services has “built a strong foundation of teamwork” since accepting his current position.

“I wanted to take a moment to let you all know how much of an honor and privilege it has been to serve the citizens of Halifax County alongside each of you,” said Saunders.

Throughout the last four, almost five years, we have made significant strides together. Together, we have:

Created a new Emergency Operations Center (including building a team to operate within it)

 Revised two Emergency Operations Plans

 Adopted a safety oriented culture for personnel

 Equipped the Town of Halifax with an early warning siren

 Increased training opportunities for firefighters from approximately 40 hours to nearly 4,000 hours annually

 Created a mechanism for the continued provision of personal protective equipment

 Initiated a FEMA recognized credentialing system for public safety personnel

 Implemented electronic patient care reporting

  Implemented Emergency Medical Dispatching

 Implemented a Fire Investigation program

 Responded to numerous major events including the tornados in 2011 

“The list could go on and on, but those are just a few of the many highlights we have accomplished through teamwork and dedication at all levels,” explained Saunders.

“While we have also faced numerous challenges such as a financial decline, increased requirements from state mandates and limited funding, we have weathered the storm.

“I look forward to hearing about all of the many major milestones you all will reach in the future.

“I will always call Halifax my home, and I will never forget the many people who have impacted my life in such a positive way.

“I thank you for your leadership, your support, your friendship, your dedication, and most importantly your unwavering desire to make a difference in our community each and every day.

“Halifax County should be very proud of the dedicated individuals who make this community such an outstanding place to live.”

“I would ask for your patience as we work out a transition plan in the coming weeks, and I will surely make you all aware of those,” Saunders concluded.