Routt County restructures, hires new emergency communications director
Steamboat Springs — Routt County has had two key emergency response management positions open since longtime Director of Emergency Management Bob Struble and mergency Communications Director Doug Brown announced their retirements in September.
Assistant County Manager Dan Weinheimer confirmed Dec. 19 that Jason C. Nettles of San Mateo, Florida, has been hired to fill Brown’s former position.
Nettles has 18 years of experience in the field and has worked at the Putnam County Sheriff’s office in Palatka, Florida, since 2001. He will start his new job on Jan. 3, 2017.
Nettles said in an email that he has already experienced a warm welcome from people in Routt County. His wife has also been employed as a nurse at Yampa Valley Medical Center beginning this month.
Weinheimer said Nettles interviewed with agency partners and the staff of the communications center and did well.
“We are excited to have him start,” Weinheimer said. “I think his experience and demeanor will be an asset to our organization and the communities we serve.”
Weinheimer said as the two vacancies are filled, County Manager Tom Sullivan is taking the opportunity to restructure the organizational flow chart. When Struble’s replacement is in place, Nettles will report to him instead of directly to Sullivan.
The county has experienced frequent turnover in the emergency communication post — Brown occupied it for two-and-a-half years — and Weinheimer said the intent behind the change is “to provide leadership and managerial support to the communications center and to better align our response and management of critical incidents within the county.”
He added that he and Sullivan have identified as many as a half-dozen candidates for the emergency manager position and they will soon be interviewed via tele-conference before several top picks are brought in for a site visit.
Filling the position probably won’t take place until early February 2017, he added.
Nettles has worked as a communications shift supervisor and communications manager with a staff of 28 serving six law enforcement agencies as well as Putnam County Fire/EMS in the county of 77,000 people.
He earned a bachelor’s of applied science in organizational management, public service administration from St. John River State College and is in the process of completing a master of science degree in critical incident management from St. Leo University.
According to his resume, Nettles prefers a “participative management style” that, when possible, employees should be involved in significant “decisions that affect their futures and working conditions.”
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