Broome Emergency Services Director To Retire

By Kiersten Mathieu

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 28, 2006 at 7:22 PM EDT

Conklin Fire Chief Gary Bullock was returning from vacation when he found his hometown underwater.

He quickly noted the response led by Broome County Emergency Services Director Mike Aswad.

"Departments from other areas. Boats were brought in. Rescue boats. Rescue personnel were brought in. The pumps for pumping afterwards when the water receded. It all came through the county's office up there and it was the resources we needed," says Conklin Chief Gary Bullock.

From natural disasters like June's flooding to devastating fires, Aswad has orchestrated how emergency crews respond.

During his 25 years, Aswad oversaw the enhanced the 911 system, beefed up firefighter training, developed a Haz Mat team, and better organized fire departments to help one another.

"When we can pull our resources and work together, its just so much better. And having the coordinator that is able to get along with everyone to work with everyone really is what accomplishes what we do," says Rob Brady, the B.C. Firefighters' Association President.

Aswad told Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala in January that he was looking to retire.

Fiala says his last day is October 20th.

The county plans to start the interview process soon.

"Mike will be involved in that process. And we'll be looking forward to that recommendation. {butt to 18:07} But it's a very crucial position, as you know. And its going to be important that we put the right person in that job," says Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala.

And with Aswad's list of accomplishments longer than a fire hose, its going to be a challenge to fill those boots.

Mike Aswad was out of town Monday, and not available for an interview.

The county wants to fill the position as soon as possible.

The Emergency Services Director's annual salary is 59 thousand dollars.

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