County emergency management has a new director

Published 7:20 pm Friday, January 25, 2008

Pearl River County Emergency Management Agency’s new director Danny Manley brings a lot of experience to his new role and hopes to utilize that experience in his new role.

Manley, who is originally from San Diego, Calif., has lived in the Picayune area since 1980, and has worked with the Picayune Fire Department for many years. He served as Fire Marshal for the city of Picayune, and is trained in rescue services. He has taken numerous courses in hurricane readiness and also numerous incident courses with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

He has served as a contact for the South Mississippi Regional Response Team, which serves the southern six counties, and also has worked with the Mississippi Department of Homeland Security.

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He most recently served as Training Coordinator for the Chemical, Radiological, Biological, Nuclear and Explosives Strike Team. In that capacity, he kept a team of the most highly trained professionals in the region up and running and had a stockpile of equipment based in Gulfport available to his team. The team would respond to any kind of terrorism threat or hazardous material incidents anywhere in the state.

He also has served as the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) Coordinator for the southern six counties, making sure the counties’ volunteer fire departments are NIMS compliant. He said he has begun working to have the local volunteer fire departments come to the Emergency Operations Center to receive NIMS training in accordance with the National Response Plan from President George W. Bush.

“We have to meet NIMS minimum requirements in order to receive federal or state funding,” Manley said.

Manley said two of the biggest immediate problems facing the emergency department are communications between some of the volunteer fire departments and dispatch, and the training of firefighters for the local volunteer departments.

“In the time since Hurricane Katrina, at least three of the volunteer fire departments have had some difficulties communicating with dispatch, and communications were spotty, at best. We are already working to solve the problem, and should have it resolved by the middle of next week,” Manley said.

To solve the training issue, Manley said more training classes will be provided in the north and south ends of the county, and the volunteers will determine which classes will be given through firefighters’ association meetings, Manley said.

Manley said he has met with the fire chiefs to allow them to tell him what they need and what he can do for them, and he plans to attend fire department meetings to learn about issues within the departments as they develop.

“It’s my job to get them what they need to do their job,” Manley said.

Manley says he is continuing all ongoing grant projects that were begun by former director Bobby Strahan, including the $8.9 million shelter grant, the Phase 2 generator grant and the siren grant for the county.

“We’re online with all the grants, and we’re rocking and rolling,” Manley said.

Manley says he is excited about his new position and hopes to help the county’s Emergency Management Agency move forward into the future.

“Pearl River County is poised to do some great things in the future. … I’m excited about where the county is now, and am happy to be a part of it,” Manley said.

Manley lives in the Caesar community with his wife, Amanda, who is an eighth grade English teacher at Pearl River Central Elementary, and his eight-year-old son Davis.