Roster change

Job-swapping would be beneficial

Eric Tolbert, former director of the North Carolina Emergency Management Division, has been appointed deputy director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Office of National Preparedness, FEMA announced last month.

The Office of National Preparedness works closely with the Office of Homeland Security in coordinating federal programs related to terrorism preparedness and managing the consequences of weapons of mass destruction.

"Eric's 26 years of emergency management experience will be a valuable asset to the agency," FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh said. "His knowledge of the needs and capabilities of our nation's first responders will be invaluable as we work with our partners on terrorism preparedness."

As the deputy director, Tolbert will assist Office of National Preparedness Director Bruce Baughman in coordinating all federal efforts to assist state and local emergency management and emergency response organizations. One of the office's priorities is the implementation of President Bush's First Responder Initiative, which includes the development of standards to ensure maximum interoperability among all levels of government.

After beginning his career in 1976 as an emergency medical technician, Tolbert became the Caldwell County, N.C., emergency services director and then moved to the state level as an emergency management area coordinator. In 1997, after four years as the preparedness and response bureau chief with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Tolbert returned to North Carolina as the state's emergency management director.

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