Taylor takes helm at Newton Co. EMA/E-911 office

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

Newly hired Newton County Emergency Management Services Director Brian Taylor brings more than two decades of experience to the job.

Taylor, who officially started on Nov. 22, is a Conehatta native and has worked in nearly every area of emergency management in several environments, from oil rigs to air evac teams.

“I’ve worked as a fire paramedic and off shore as a paramedic, and I’ve been involved with volunteer fire departments for 21 years,” Taylor said. “With my experience in working with EMS in every field that I possibly can gives me a broad perspective on the emergency management field. And working in the fire service gives me a good understanding of how this process works.”

Taylor was hired by the Board of Supervisors during an executive session at their Oct. 30 meeting to replace John Williamson who resigned in September to take the deputy EMS position in Lauderdale County. Tanya Sistrunk, who had served as interim EMS director, was hired as the deputy director.

Taylor started working with the Conehatta Volunteer Fire Department 21 years ago and says it was one particular incident that stirred him to expand his experience.

“Twenty-one years ago, I was working with the Conehatta Fire Department and we were working a bad wreck that involved a family of three,” Taylor said. “And on that day, I remember feeling like I wished that there was something I could do to help that family and in some ways, on the medical side of things, I felt like my hands were tied. I knew the fire service side and how to handle that side of it, but I remember feeling really helpless that night. I prayed it about it later that night and that’s what led me to the point where I am today and being a paramedic and moving forward in that career field.”

Since then, Taylor has worked as a rig paramedic for Atwood Oceanics a Houston, Texas, based offshore oil drilling company, a flight paramedic for Air Evac Lifeteam in Demopolis, Ala., and a paramedic for Metro Ambulance Service in Meridian.

Before being hired by the county, Taylor was a flight paramedic for CareFlight, which is based in Starkville.