The Limestone County Emergency Management Agency might have a new director, but it's someone already familiar with the local agency.
Eddie Gilbert joined the Limestone EMA nearly 12 years ago as a radiological emergency preparedness planner, working with Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant to create emergency plans worthy of federal approval. Gilbert said he'd previously held a similar role with the Alabama National Guard, so the job "wasn't all that new" to the Limestone County native.
When Rita White announced she would be stepping down as director, he said it "seemed like the natural move" to take over as interim. He was approved as her replacement by the Limestone County Commission at its Aug. 16 meeting.
"I hope I don't regret it any time soon," he joked Tuesday.
Gilbert said his career thus far has given him opportunity to be involved in quite a lot as far as emergencies go, but he stops just short of saying he's seen everything.
"As soon as I do, something else will come up," he said.
With EMA, much of the work is up to Mother Nature, and in his first few weeks as Limestone EMA director, he's already seen tornado warnings and helped ready the county for whatever Hurricane Ida might send its way. He said part of that preparation involved making sure various county departments were kept up-to-date on weather reports or changes and opening storm shelters in case residents needed them.
That said, the EMA likes to be prepared at all times, not just when a bad storm is forecast, and the first few weeks as director haven't been too bad, he said. Gilbert said the Limestone EMA works well together, something his predecessor also took time to appreciate.
As for whoever will take on the position he left behind, "I hope we get good candidates and I can find a good person out of that," he said.
Those who wish to apply for the job can visit limestonecounty-al.gov and click "Jobs" at the bottom of the screen. Applications are being accepted through Friday.