Emergency Management Director position to be taken over by deputy

Rick Sager, right, who will be taking over as the Montgomery County Emergency Management Director in 2019, receives a proclamation from the Montgomery County Legislature in July. To the left is Chairman Robert Headwell, who presented the proclamation. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

FONDA — As 2019 approaches, the new year will bring changes such as changes in leadership roles and local representatives. One change Montgomery County will be seeing is a new sheriff and Emergency Management director.

Current Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith was recently elected as Montgomery County Sheriff in November leaving the emergency management director position open for a new director.

Filling the position will be longtime Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Sager.

“I’m excited to be director,” Sager said. “I’ve been with the office for a long time. This gives me the opportunity for me to step to the top spot. I hope to do as good as the [directors] in front of me.”

Sager has worked as the deputy director for the last 30 years and has been on the Fort Johnson Fire Department for 47 years with six of those years spent as the chief.

“He is very qualified for the job and very involved,” Smith said.

Sager said within his 30 years as Emergency Management Deputy Director, he has worked with about seven different directors. He said he worked with Smith for five years as a team.

“Even though you wear the hat, we worked as a team,” Smith said.

Sager said he likes the kind of atmosphere of working as a team because it has made it so the Montgomery County Emergency Management team could “develop to a big family.”

He said he plans to continue working as a team with Jeff Kaczor who will be moving to the deputy director position.

“I want to continue what Jeff has started and continue the good work,” Sager said. “He left us with good relationships with the community. We’re in good shape going forward.”

Smith said he looks forward to working with both Sager and Kaczor in a new capacity as sheriff.

“I think the two of them together will do a phenomenal job,” Smith said.

By Josh Bovee

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