October 11, 2013 10:24:06 AM
Nathan Gregory - [email protected]
Columbus and Lowndes County Emergency 911 is seeking a new director to replace Sheri Fancher, who will retire from her post in January.
Her pending retirement was confirmed Tuesday during the E-911 communications board meeting. Fancher has logged 24 years there and has served in her current position coordinating and managing the communications center since March 2008.
The board has already started advertising for the position and plans to hire a replacement in December. Board director Chuck Cook said that will help ensure a smooth transition for the new director, who will have an opportunity to work with Fancher, who plans to train her successor for six weeks before she officially leaves.
"We're sad to lose her," Cook said. "I know it was a hard decision for her to make and we've enjoyed working with her tremendously. We know it's going to get a good transition. We've got several applicants already in...and Sheri is going to be there every step of the way."
Fancher said in the next two to three years, the department will likely be upgrading its 911 system to meet technological advancements including text messaging. Her successor will need to be someone who has experience in that field as well as management of the communication center and personnel.
Fancher, a 28-year state employee in 911 services, said she has no immediate career plans after she steps down.
"I've been fortunate to work with Lowndes County. They've always been great to me," she said. "I love my job. I've been doing this since I was 18, so I really don't know anything else."
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.