Phil McCarty has lived in Jacksonville his whole life. He knows this place like the back of his hand, and it’s a place near and dear to him. So when the opportunity arose for him to become the Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency Management & 911 Coordinatorhe knew it was a role he could pour 100 percent of himself into. The chance to help local community members prepare for emergency situations meant he could be an integral part of keeping his hometown a safe place to live and raise families.
Now 38 years old, McCarty has been employed at GTSI for 12 years, but also keeps busy with many other roles, too. He’s a deputy coroner for Morgan County, a paramedic, still volunteers as part of the Chatham Fire District, and has taught at Lincoln Land Community College for more than nine years. But in mid-December, he’ll take on his new role, the position he has spent his life training for, replacing the previous coordinator who held that position for more than 30 years.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” McCarty explained, “But I’m excited for the challenges and opportunities this job will offer.” On the Emergency Management side, McCarty will focus on educating and preparing local businesses and private entities for hazardous situations—whether that be weather-related or otherwise.
“My goal is to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to emergency preparedness,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate not to have too many major emergencies in recent years—but that’s when communities get lax on emergency readiness. I want to make sure we’re ready.”
On the 911 side, his role will focus on the administrative duties of making sure calls are handled correctly and efficiently, funding is sought for the organization, and that all state regulations are being met and kept up-to-date through the Illinois Commerce Commission. This important facet of emergency management ensures those in difficult situations are helped quickly and calmly.
While McCarty has been working toward the goal of getting this new role for the past two years, now that he’s landed the position, he’ll undergo some on-going training to get him 100 percent up to speed on for his new responsibilities. And as a Jacksonville resident, he’s excited to help protect his hometown.
“I’ve grown up here and know a lot of the people who live in Jacksonville, so I’m compassionate about helping local schools, colleges, and businesses prepare a well-rounded emergency preparedness plan.” Whether it’s a tornado, flood, or a hazardous material situation, he’ll work with these entities and train them on how to handle these unfortunate events.
While McCarty continues to keep busy with his many different roles, it’s safe to say that not only is he an interesting person, but he’s one that’s dedicated to helping others. With this new position, he’ll be able to help even more community members than he’s been able to in the past. As the new Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency Management & 911 Coordinatorhis job is one we all depend on.