Shenandoah County hires 911 director

By Alex Bridges

Shenandoah County has a new chief for its 911 operations.

Ronald Jason Malloy begins his job as the county’s director of emergency communications on Monday. Malloy, 39, will work part time until June 1 when he takes over full time, according to a news release. His annual salary will be $55,909.

On Wednesday, Malloy, the E911 coordinator for the Amelia County Sheriff’s Office, called the new position “an upward step” in a career that began in his teens when he was a cadet in a high school explorer program. He said he took the job for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is to turn the communications center into a model for others.

“Basically I want to put my fingerprints on an organization and lead them forward to the point where, at a national level, people are looking at how things are done in Shenandoah [County] and saying, ‘hey, that’s the way to do it’ and ‘hey, can we borrow your manual, can we have your training program’ and things like that,” Malloy said.

Malloy, who is from Funkstown, just outside of Hagerstown, Md., also liked the idea of living closer to home.

“For me, I consider that whole region to be home,” Malloy said. “When I saw the position everything just kind of fell into place for me.”

Malloy’s duties include the management of the emergency communications center, also referred to as the Public Safety Answer Point. He also will serve as operations section chief when the county activates the Emergency Operations Center.

Malloy was selected from a pool of 14 applicants. County Administrator Mary Beth T. Price said the search panel chose him during a second round of interviews after a first offer made by the county fell through.

Officials created the position on recommendation of a staffing study that looked at the Sheriff’s Office as well as the emergency communications center. The county had a communications sections chief under the Department of Fire and Rescue, Price explained. Debbie Francis retired as communications sections chief in December.

“The trend is pulling away from [emergency communications] either being under law enforcement or fire and rescue and having it be its own department,” Price explained.

Malloy said the position “spoke to me” when he read the report from the study’s findings and recommendations and after he researched the job.

Malloy’s work in dispatch began in 2000-2001, and his experience includes emergency management, fire and rescue and law enforcement as well as information technology. He has worked as a dispatcher and communications officer, a medic and a firefighter. He served as a backup dispatch shift supervisor for the Washington County, Md., Department of Emergency Services and operations captain for the Community Rescue Service in Hagerstown.

He graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a bachelor of science in fire science and received his master’s degree in public safety from Capella University in Minnesota. Malloy also works as an assistant adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College and teaches undergraduate courses in public safety administration.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com