Beginning Jan. 1, the city of Graham will have a new interim emergency management coordinator. Former EMC David Hooper has retired, paving the way for city officials to reexamine their 2014 emergency management plan.

Assistant Fire Chief Jerry David will serve as the interim EMC for six months. During that time, David will examine the city’s various departments in order to determine how to proceed with the city’s emergency preparedness approach.

“What we’ve found out is that over the years, the amount of money that we get in grants has gone down steadily, primarily because of federal and state budget issues,” said Public Works Director David Casteel.

He added that emergency management funding for the city of Graham is down to roughly $22,000 for the fiscal year 2014. According to Casteel, that amount is not enough to support a full time salaried position.

Also aiding in emergency management duties is Sandra Edwards, who works out of the emergency management office across the street from the GPD building on the Loving Highway.

Included among the duties of the EMC, there must be a plan that anticipates every type of emergency that could befall a given city. This includes earthquakes, tornadoes, massive fires and floods. An EMC must attend regular joint meetings with other cities through the North Texas cog for the purpose of mutual aid plan sharing.

Read the entire story in this weekend's edition of The Graham Leader.