by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
TRENT ATKINS is Sheriff Brian BeGole’s selection to replace Rich Warner as the Shiawassee County Emergency Management Coordinator. Atkins has many years of experience in the field of emergency/risk management, and he has served as a paramedic and fire fighter
Atkins is shown here in his city of Lansing Fire Department uniform. He was with the department from 1990 until he retired as assistant fire chief in 2014.
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners forwarded to its Thursday, July 13 meeting an agenda item that would allow Sheriff Brian BeGole to hire Trent Atkins as the county’s Emergency Management Coordinator. Richard Warner resigned from the position in June to become the Muskegon County Emergency Services Director. Atkins, if hired, would earn $49,500 annually.
Sheriff BeGole oversaw the hiring process for the opening, which is considered a part-time position. With surrounding counties offering full-time positions with much higher pay rates, many commissioners were not optimistic about finding a qualified replacement for Warner in the aforementioned salary range.
Luckily, Atkins, who retired as the director of Emergency/Risk Management and Security for the Lansing Board of Water and Light in May, is happy to work in Shiawassee County. Atkins is a resident of Antrim Township, so the position close to home suits him. He married a life-long county resident with whom he has four children. He has resided in the county for 25 years.
As for qualifications, Atkins has spent nearly two decades in the field of incident/emergency/risk management. He has managed situations such as Y2K, anthrax scares, blackouts, train derailments, tornados, oil refinery fires, large protests and rallies, cyber attacks, and large storms, among other situations. His qualifications include leadership abilities, policy development, community/public relations, budgeting, and negotiating, among others. It is safe to say that Atkins meets or surpasses the expectations of anyone involved in this hiring process.
Sheriff BeGole informed the board that Atkins has applied to and received interest from Livingston County and other entities, but that having an opportunity to work in his home county makes the Shiawassee County job more enticing, despite the lower salary that is unlikely to be raised in the coming year.