The Director of Emergency Management is appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The Montgomery County Emergency Management Department exists to help citizens and local governments prepare for, respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. (natural, technological and National Security.)
Our office of Emergency Management hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The telephone number is 620-330-1260.
To E-Mail the Director: Rick Whitson
Rick Whitson, Director Bio
Rick was born the youngest of 6 and raised in Independence. After graduation, he first worked in a ship yard on Terminal Island, California. He returned, and spent 6 years as a boat builder and supervisor for Cobalt boats in Neodesha.
Rick then worked at Systech, a hazardous waste facility in Fredonia. It was there that Rick began his education on Emergency Management as he managed the sampling and coding system for the next 6 years while also completing multiple college course on hazardous materials regulations.
He then began a nearly 20 year tenure at the Independence Fire Department, a combination department with 5 ambulances and 5 fire apparatus. For thirteen years, he served as a Captain and Advanced EMT and managed an 8 person shift. During that time he acquired nearly every certification available in the fire service, too numerous to list here.
For the position of Director of Emergency Management for Montgomery County, he chose to use his training and talents to a different, broader field that required more diversity and training. He has thoroughly enjoyed the new challenge. He quickly discovered that the county leaders are very supportive of the position and it’s success and are equally dedicated to the safety and preparedness of its citizens as well.
Working under the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) has also been refreshing. Rick has found a group of professionals and subject matter experts that provide leadership, education, and support anytime day or night.
Rick has officially been appointed the Montgomery County District Fire Chief. The 7 Chiefs will be division Chiefs of their respective departments. His role will be primarily administrative unless called upon by the responding officer or in events of subsequent magnitude. This will be in addition to his primary responsibility of Director of Emergency Management. This decision was voted on by the Division Chiefs and appointment was made by the commissioners.