Application deadline set for 911 director

By AUTUMN HUGHES Staff Writer
Posted 1/12/18

By AUTUMN HUGHES

Staff Writer

Anyone interested in applying for the position of Bradley County’s new 911 director has until Friday, Feb. 23, to submit a completed application and …

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Application deadline set for 911 director

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Anyone interested in applying for the position of Bradley County’s new 911 director has until Friday, Feb. 23, to submit a completed application and résumé.

The Bradley County/Cleveland 911 Director Search Committee met Thursday afternoon to discuss the process that will be used to find a replacement for former long-time 911 director Joe Wilson, who retired in December after 25 years in that position.

Committee Chairman Ron Harrison, Cleveland’s fire chief, led the meeting. The first item of business was to finalize an advertisement for the 911 director position.

“We have omitted pay; what are your thoughts on that?” Harrison asked, adding that the salary has not yet been approved by the Bradley County/Cleveland 911 board of directors.

The consensus among committee members was to omit the salary from the advertisement. However, several other items will be included, like professional qualifications and residence requirements. The committee approved the ad text and to have it published in the Cleveland Daily Banner, a Chattanooga newspaper and the Tennessee Emergency Number Association website.

Wilson, who is serving as a resource to the search committee, suggested posting the ad for free on the TENA911.org website. TENA is a not-for profit corporation whose membership is comprised of public safety communications professionals representing the emergency communications districts throughout Tennessee. In addition, a number of individuals from commercial and industrial firms hold membership, according to the website.

While the 911 director’s salary is not listed in the advertisement for the position, the committee approved making a recommendation of a $72,000 base salary to the 911 Board.

After agreeing to begin advertising the job as soon as possible, the committee set the timeline for the search. Applications and résumés will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, giving the committee time to compile a list of applicants to present to the 911 Board at its meeting on Feb. 28. Afterward, the committee members are allowing themselves two weeks to individually review applications before meeting to compare notes, determine the top candidates, and make interview appointments. The committee agreed to hold candidate interviews at the Cleveland City Council’s meeting room, if that space is available.

Harrison said the committee can be prepared to present its “short list” of candidates at the 911 Board’s next regular meeting on April 25.

The search committee members also discussed the questions that will be asked during the interviews. Harrison said he has a sample list of questions provided by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.

“I do think we need a fairly rigid format … and treat one candidate like the next one,” Harrison said.

Bradley County Fire-Rescue Chief Shawn Fairbanks asked if there will be enough time to do background checks on the top candidates before their interviews.

Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson said once the top tier of candidates is narrowed down there will be time for background checks. However, if the checks are not completed by then and the decision is made to offer the job to a candidate, employment can be contingent on the results of the background check.

Gibson also said Cleveland Police Department applicants are given a background check form to fill out along with an application and that form can also be given to the 911 director applicants.

Harrison said applications can be picked up at the 911 Center or accessed through the Center’s Facebook page. 

The search committee’s next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, at Cleveland Fire Station 1. The meeting is open to the public.

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