Montgomery County EMA Director Shari Harrington has delivered a resignation letter to the county commissioners. Commissioner president John Frey announced the news at Monday’s commissioner meeting.
Harrington, who started working for the county nearly 20 years ago, said she decided it was time to move on when an opening in the Indiana State Emergency Management System-DHS became available.
Harrington will be working in the state’s Emergency Operation Center. Her duties will include working on a statewide emergency response program and helping standardize operating procedures by building a team of EMA professionals. She also could find herself assisting in disaster areas anywhere in the United States.
“Having been here for 20 years I felt it was time to do something else,” Harrington said. “I am going to be able to continue doing the things I love.”
Harrington started working for the county in January 2003 as the receptionist for the county health department. Within a few years she was named Montgomery County Sanitarian, a position that looks over operations of the health department.
She was named EMA Director in 2012 which included some milestones.
“I was the first full-time EMA director and also I was the first woman to be County Sanitarian and EMA Director,” Harrington said. “I am pretty proud of that.”
Constant growth and improvement has marked the county EMA during Harrington’s time as director.
After a recent grant of $334,000 for an armored vehicle to be delivered to the sheriff’s office, Harrington has worked to accumulate more than $2 million in grant funds.
“We have been able to buy a lot of things with the grants,” Harrington said. “From the tornado sirens that are now all over the county, to radio systems for public safety personnel and the mass notification system, and much more. We have been able to improve public safety.”
Harrington is most pleased that the county now has a trained Emergency Response Team. Volunteers have received training equal to national standards and members are ready to help during a disaster.
Harrington said she will always have fond memories of her work in Montgomery County. She especially wanted to thank past and present EMA employees Brian Campbell, Kristi Braziel, Dee Jones and Jessica Burget for their assistance. She also thanks Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton for allowing EMA to move into and use the 73,000 foot facility on Elmore Street. Past and present county officials also received thanks from Harrington.
Lastly, she wants to thank the numerous volunteers, including the small town public safety organizations, who have worked with her to improve emergency response in the county.
“I want people to know it has been an honor to serve this county,” Harrington said. “I could not have accomplished the things I did without them.”
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