MURRAY — Calloway County Emergency Management Director Bill Call will be retiring from the position after serving in the capacity for just over 12 years.
Call said he has long worked with the emergency responders in the county, having previously worked alongside his predecessor in the role, Jeff Steen. Call began his tenure as emergency management director in September 2007.
“I had been active with helping the emergency manager then, who was Jeff Steen,” Call said. “He had been in the position for 10 years, and he had worked to improve our weather spotting program—and I was active with that with the HAM radio group.”
Call also worked in communications for the regional hazardous materials response team. When Steen eventually stepped down, he put Call’s name in the running for his position, and Call was appointed.
“I was interested in emergency preparedness and protecting the public, and that starts with your own family and your own preparedness,” Call said. “(Then Calloway County Judge-Executive) Larry Elkins asked if I would consider working in the position, and I was retired from Murray State and I had the time. So I said yes, I could help the community in that way.”
Call said that while the job of emergency management director is described as a quarter-time job, it takes considerably more than that. And while he has enjoyed serving in the position, he said he wants to step back to a less demanding position.
“I am getting a little older, and most people try to slow down when they get older — I’m 72 now,” Call said. “Life is just awfully busy. The job in Calloway has long been considered a quarter-time job, but you can’t do it in that time. I volunteer the extra hours that are needed and we have awfully good volunteer participation in this county. We have a lot of people who volunteer time and resources to help our community, so I don’t mind doing that.
“But it is starting to wear me down … and I am just ready to slow down and not be quite so busy.”
Call said he still plans to work with the emergency responders in the county and will help transition the next emergency management director, which he hopes will be chosen Wednesday during the next meeting of the Calloway County Fiscal Court.
“I am willing to stay on as a deputy director and assist whoever is selected as the new one,” Call said. “Jeff Steen was a big help to me when I started; he is so knowledgable and continues to support the program. So I will do that for the next director for as long as I can.”
Call said he is also one of the older volunteers with Calloway County Fire-Rescue, and still plans to help them as well.
“I am one of their older members, and not nearly as fast and capable as the younger ones,” he said. “But I think I can still do something to help them.”