New county DES coordinator selected

Ron Scott has been selected as the new county DES coordinator.

Scott is a former assistant fire chief at Great Falls Fire Rescue.

He begins June 1.

Ron Scott

Ron Scott. Photo courtesy Cascade County.

In a release, County Commission Chairman Joe Briggs said, “we had several fine candidates, but Ron’s experience with fire operations and his understanding of emergency services made this choice clear. We are grateful to Capt. Scott Van Dyken of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office who has served the communities well as interim DES coordinator for nearly six months. It is time to get Capt. VanDyken back on the law enforcement scene full-time.”

Van Dyken was filling in while former DES coordinator John Stevens was on administrative leave during an investigation that resulted in a criminal charge. The county announced in November 2017 that it had selected Stevens for the DES job, which had been vacant since June 2017 when Vince Kolar retired.

Scott has 25 years of emergency experience. Before serving as the assistant fire chief for operations at GFFR, he was a fire captain; holds an OSHA certificate in hazardous waste management and certifications in the incident command system used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for large natural or human-caused incidents. He also served on the city’s Emergency Management Services Board.

“The County Commissioners are pleased with their decision and look forward to working with Ron in this new capacity,” according to the release.

The DES coordinator/emergency manager position administers, plans and coordinates the activities disaster and emergency services for the entire county, including the City of Great Falls.

The position duties include oversight of the Cascade County emergency medical services/quick response units, volunteers who provide immediate medical response in the outlying rural sectors of Cascade County, often before Great Falls Emergency Services arrives on scene, according to a county release. The coordinator also serves as the county fire warden; and oversees the emergency preparedness and response functions for the county.

In the position Scott will be responsible for preparing the county’s emergency operations plan and the pre-disaster mitigation plan; as well as facilitating the Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting. All of these duties require extensive coordination with the incorporated cities and towns, military installations, rural volunteer fire departments, QRUs, Calumet, Northwestern Energy, public schools and more, according to the county.

“We were looking for someone with a breadth of experience in structural and wildfire control, as well as management of the emergency operation center. Ron clearly has that experience and additionally can collaborate with the people who we will be partnering with to ensure the safety of our communities,” Briggs said in a release.