Justin Griffin and Scott Chrisman were honored by the Linn County Commission for their service to the community July 31.

Griffin and Chrisman both spent about 4 and a half years working on behalf of the county to keep everyone safe.

July 31, a small ceremony was held at the Linn County Courthouse to recognize Justin Griffin and Scott Chrisman for their service to the county. Griffin served as the Emergency Management director and Chrisman served as the Local Emergency Planning Committee coordinator. Both held their respective positions for about 4 and a half years.

Griffin says the job was fun.

“I really enjoyed my time working with the first responders from all over the county,” Griffin said. “I don’t have enough time to devote to the job now, which is what the job needs.”

Linn County E911 director Dan King took over both positions vacated by Griffin and Chrisman July 1. Since taking over the positions King has already had one training scenario.

King believes practice makes perfect.

“The more you train, the better you’re going to be when something happens,” Kings said.  

King was able to use the recent power outage at Pioneer Skilled Nursing in Marceline for the training scenario. While the power to the facility was down King and other responders came up with a contingency plan to evacuate the elderly and staff. King arranged for school buses to be on-hand for the scenario, additionally he had a backup generator at the ready.

Previously King has been a member of such organizations before coming to Linn County. According to King, these preparedness committees are unlike others he has been a part of.

“I’ve worked in emergency management service before and this is one of the most proactive counties I’ve ever worked in,” King said.

The LEPC is in-charge of inspecting and securing safe travel for hazardous materials through the county. Each county in the U.S. is mandated to have an LEPC in case of emergency. Similarly, Emergency Management is in-charge of preparation and response to local emergencies. The organization works with first responders, the Red Cross, sheltering organizations and churches in the event of an emergency.