MAYVILLE- Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan recently announced the Director of Emergency Services Julius Leone Jr. will retire from his position effective October 27th.
Leone first began his career with the county on March 2, 2002 as Director of Emergency Services. The Director has worked closely with the entire emergency services community in Chautauqua County to assist the public and emergency responders.
Leone has supported each of the county’s 42 fire departments and facilitated the annual training of 1,800 firefighters at the county’s Taylor Training Center in Jamestown and Murphy Training Center in Dunkirk.
Leone has also partnered with fire service and law enforcement to provide specialized teams such as Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue, Water Emergency, Chautauqua Area Search Team, Critical Incident Stress Management, Fire Investigation, Fire Police, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), and the Citizens Emergency Response Team.
The Department of Emergency Services recently developed a Fly Car Paramedic Program to help improve the county Emergency Medical Response system. Working together with the County Fire Advisory Board and Sheriff Technical Division, the county Fire Service implemented a new trunked radio system for the Fire Service as part of the overall radio system upgrade.
“Throughout his 15 years of service to the residents of Chautauqua County, Julius has been extraordinary in addressing emergencies whether it is fires, floods, severe thunderstorms, or winter storms,” said Horrigan. “He has been essential in coordinating our county’s preparation, response and recovery efforts so operations run as smoothly as they possibly can during an emergency.”
“He has also been instrumental in obtaining grants to upgrade equipment that can be shared among local and regional fire and emergency response teams.”
Leone has worked with fire service, law enforcement, ambulance services, and hospitals to conduct training exercise such as responding to an airplane crash, hazardous materials incidents, and bus and rail incidents.
Leone has responded to events like the August 2009 flood events in Silver Creek; February 2010 Masonic Building fire in Dunkirk; November 2011 EF2 tornadoes in Fredonia and Westfield; June 2013 flooding in Brocton, Portland, Stockton, and Chautauqua; July 2015 flooding that affected much of the county, and the March 2016 train derailment in Ripley.
“It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve our county residents and work together with all the county fire/EMS responders, law enforcement and other partners to better prepare for and help ensure the safety of all county communities,” said Leone.
Leone has also been a member of the Lambert Hook and Ladder Company of the Fredonia Fire Department since 1980 and currently serves as the First Vice President of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.
Horrigan has begun the process of finding a replacement and will establish a bi-partisan search committee to help him find the most qualified individual to serve as the new director.