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Dave Fox retiring as 911 coordinator

April 25, 2019 GMT

After more than 25 years with Somerset County, 911 coordinator Dave Fox is ready to retire.

Fox will be leaving his post May 17.

Fox started his career with the county in 1992 as a Somerset County auditor for three terms. During that time he was also the public information officer for the county.

He ran into then-EMA director Rick Lohr and joked with him about taking the 911 coordinator job since he had experience as an emergency medical technician. He also served on the 911 advisory committee when 911 was implemented in the United States. He said he received a call from Lohr a few days later offering him the job. Lohr said that Fox was good at his job and is a genuinely good person. He said Fox was an essential part of the EMA/911 team.

“You can’t do the job alone,” Lohr said. “It is a team effort and Dave was a very important part of that. He is going to be missed.” Lohr said that Fox’s financial background working as an auditor was invaluable.

“Dave was also my public information officer for the county,” he said. “He is a very good spokesman at that. He helped me at all of the disasters I had. At Flight 93 he did not work as the coordinator, but he came out and was able to track everything we were doing to keep an account of what was being spent.”

During his tenure, Fox has seen a complete change of all the systems used in the office. He said the office operates at a much faster pace than when he started.

“Especially since Sept. 11 everything has changed dramatically,” he said.

Fox said the challenge is keeping everyone onboard with changes. When the office is fully staffed, there are 16 full-time dispatchers and two part-time dispatchers.

Somerset County Commissioner Gerald Walker said that while the county hates to see Fox go, he understands that he is ready to move on. “Dave will be missed,” he said. “That is a big set of shoes over there.”

Fox’s retirement comes just shy of a year after Lohr announced his retirement.

“It’s kind of a passing of the baton, I guess,” Walker said. “Change is good sometimes. We have to look at the silver lining. Whomever this individual will be will hopefully complement (EMA director) Joel (Landis) as we move forward to the new Rick and Dave. It will be Joel and whomever.”

Walker said the county plans to advertise the position soon and would like to get it filled as soon as possible.

Landis said that while Fox will be missed, his departure will open up an opportunity for someone else to have a career in the department.

“I appreciate Dave’s long tenure in the county,” Landis said.

911 shift supervisor Dave Johnson said that Fox has always been a good supervisor. “(He was) easy to get along with,” he said. “Reasonable and (he) had an understanding of both sides and came up with one best thing for everybody.”

Fox said he will miss working for the county.

“I enjoyed working with the county with auditing and 911 both,” he said. “It is a good place to work for.”