Passing the torch at the EMO office

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Hannon retiring, Johnson taking over co-ordinator’s role

UPPER NAPPAN – Jim Hannon will retire later this month from his role as Cumberland County’s emergency measures co-ordinator, leaving the post satisfied that the county is ready for an emergency situation.
He is also confident that his shoes will be well filled by his replacement, Mike Johnson.

Jim Hannon (left) will retire from his position as Cumberland County’s emergency measures co-ordinator at the end of June after 11 years in the role. He is welcoming Mike Johnson as his replacement.

“When I walk out of here at the end of June, I’m going to have a great sense of accomplishment,” said Hannon, who became the county’s first emergency measures co-ordinator 11 years ago after retiring from the RCMP. “I’m very proud of what’s been done in Cumberland County, but jut by myself, but from all the planning teams, support agencies, first responders, and how they have come together in the past 10 years.”

As co-ordinator, Hannon put together plans for various types of emergencies that could arise in the county, such as floods, storm surges, or adapting to events related to climate change.

Starting out planning just for the county municipality, his role expanded as the four towns in Cumberland County jumped on board for what became the regional emergency measures organization (REMO.)

Johnson brings a similar background to the position, with 30 years in the RCMP under his belt, many of those served here in Cumberland County. During that time he saw Hannon getting the EMO work off the ground, and said he deserves a lot of credit for how far it has come.

“Jim has built an incredible home here,” said Johnson. “The foundation he has put together, and the plans he made, have brought a whole package together where one didn’t exist before. It was built from the ground up, and he’s done a fantastic job, and deserves a lot of credit for what has happened here.”

Hannon credited the municipal councils for supporting him by getting behind his various projects, some of which required substantial financial commitment, such as the effort that placed emergency generators at designated shelter sites throughout the county.

Communications is very important in emergency situations, and he said he has been fortunate to have the support of the WestCumb Amateur Radio Club to assist him over the years.

He now plans to become a “full-time grandfather,” and enjoy his retirement, although he said he would be available to assist Johnson whenever needed.

Johnson expects to be busy working on a number of emergency plans, with the most immediate focusing on weather-related concerns due to rising sea levels. Among the vulnerable areas he identified are the Tantramar marshes, the Advocate dykes, and the Northumberland Strait.

“The part that appealed to me most was being out there, and active when things start going wrong,” he said. “It’s about being adaptive, having some ingenuity, and bringing people together who need to be there to do things. What do they need, and who has it?”

awagstaff@citizenrecord.ca

Twitter: ADNandrew

Organizations: RCMP, REMO, WestCumb Amateur Radio Club

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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