Natrona County Emergency Mgmt. Coordinator Lt. Stewart Anderson Retires
Another long time Natrona County public servant is hanging it up.
Lt. Stewart Anderson, the Natrona County Emergency Management Coordinator, has announced his retirement effective October 13th.
He submitted his letter of resignation to the sheriff's officer and the county, and made the announcement on Facebook Friday evening, posting the entire letter there.
Anderson has been with the Sheriff's Department since 1983, and filled the Emergency Management Coordinator position in 1989.
In the announcement, Anderson said, "It has been with honor, appreciation, and gratitude that I have been able to serve the office and especially the citizens of Natrona County."
Here is his letter in full...
To the Sheriff and Citizens of Natrona County:
On January 3, 1983 I was sworn in as a Deputy for the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office with the rank of Lieutenant. I was second in command of the patrol division and eventually placed in command. In March of 1989, then Sheriff Ketchum, assigned me to be the Natrona County Emergency Management Coordinator. It was a position that, at first, I was reluctant to take but soon embraced the order and started on my journey. This journey went through historical incidents that affected the nation and therefore our procedures and practices on how we plan, train, respond, recover from and mitigate against loosing life and saving property. Some of these national incidents include the Murrah Federal Building attack, 1993 attack of the World Trade Center, Mississippi River Floods, Sioux City Plane Crash, Attacks of 9/11, California earthquakes, and the solar eclipse to name a few. On a more local level, some incidents have included Platte River flooding, Flash floods, search and rescues, drownings, several large wild fires, bomb threats, white powder threats, hazardous materials releases, evacuations, tornadoes, hail storms, blizzards and an occasional earthquake. I was put in charge of an office that had to be dynamic as well as progressive. Even though I am a Lieutenant, the EMA Coordinator is a position that must go beyond law enforcement as it requires inclusivity of all agencies. i.e. fire, EMS, dispatch, private sector and volunteer programs including all elected and appointed officials. Emergency Management is the hub of the emergency/disaster wheel with all entities and agencies serving as spokes. In other words: unless all are working together, the wheel is broken. The people depending upon the wheel, are the citizens we serve. It does not matter where they live-city or county. Or what ethnicity, gender, age or belief they may have. They are all our “customers.” Agencies don’t compete for our customers. We serve all who reside and visit our county. I have taken this belief and tried to apply it every day. That is, I do not work for the sheriff or the commissioners during the fires, the floods, the storms. I am working for that citizen who is in need.
Through all of these incidents, the training and the planning, it is my hope that all of us, the agencies, the personnel and especially the citizens, are safer and better prepared. Some of the EM office accomplishments include; 1) enhanced communications/radio capabilities being interoperable between agencies. 2) Warning systems including the outdoor all hazards siren system as well as the phone/text/email electronic warning system. 3) Enhanced and detailed emergency operations plan. 4) Detailed mitigation plan. 5) Having all deputies trained and equipped as medically trained EMRs. 6) At least 12 full scale, and numerous drill and table top exercises. We also now have one of the leading Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in the region with over 850 trained citizens.
It is stated in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything. A time to be born, to die, to plant to reap, to kill and heal, to breakdown and time to build. A time to weep and time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to keep and a time to cast away. It is now with bittersweet feelings that I think it is time to cast away from my duties and submit my letter of resignation from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and serving as Natrona County Emergency Manager effective at the end of my shift on October 13, 2017.
It has been with honor, appreciation, and gratitude that I been able to serve the office and especially the citizens of Natrona County.
Lt. Stewart Anderson, Natrona County Emergency Manager