The Monroe County Board recently promoted a familiar person to a new position in county government.
Former Monroe County Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director Kevin Scheibe became the county’s new public safety coordinator after the board’s Feb. 18 meeting.
This new role combines the jobs of 911 coordinator and EMA director, the latter of which Scheibe will take over after current Monroe County EMA Director Ryan Weber retires in December.
“I was born and raised in Monroe County, and I’ve always wanted to serve my community, as I have since ‘92,” Scheibe said. “Now, I’ve got the opportunity to serve it full-time, and to me that means everything because this is home.”
Scheibe, who graduated from Waterloo High School, Belleville Area College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale, first started working with the county in 1992 while serving with Monroe County EMS.
Scheibe started with the Monroe County EMA in 2014 before becoming assistant director in 2017.
Simultaneously, the Waterloo resident has worked for 16 years with emergency management in health care. He has been employed with St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, overseeing emergency management in the HSHS southern division and assisting in EMS.
Scheibe, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in emergency management, said all that experience will prove valuable in his new position.
“There’s still a lot of similarities,” he noted. “It’s all about preparedness. It’s all about education. What we always say is instead of being reactive, let’s be proactive.”
Currently, Scheibe is focused on the 911 side of his job, as that is a new field that has always interested him.
“That’s as important if not more important (than emergency management) because that’s a continuous thing we have to monitor and make sure it’s ready to go for our community,” Scheibe said.
After Scheibe takes over the EMA in December, Weber will still lend his expertise to Monroe County by stepping down to the assistant director position.
In the meantime, Scheibe said Weber will continue to work with him to make sure he understands all the particulars of the director’s position the duo has not already covered.
That mainly entails budgetary processes ensuring the county plans and prepares for potential disaster situations or emergencies like the current coronavirus event.
Being 911 coordinator, a job most recently held by Mike Fausz, involves many responsibilities including ensuring 911 mapping works properly, working with all 911 dispatchers throughout the county to assure compliance and training and ensuring the county has proper personnel and the appropriate resources to serve the community. The 911 coordinator also represents Monroe County in statewide meetings.
Both departments also come with their share of budgetary matters, state regulations and grant writing.
“Everyday operations is plentiful,” Scheibe said.
Since the 911 role is newer to him, Scheibe said he looks forward to learning both the department and some new equipment the county received in December.
When it comes to the more familiar aspect of emergency management, Scheibe plans to prioritize “continuous community education.”
Scheibe said emergency management is about mitigation, being prepared, ready to respond and recover from disasters.
“I look forward to serving the community,” Scheibe said. “I’ve always said I’ll give the community 150 percent, and that’s the way I’ve always been. Monroe County means everything to me. It’s my home and the home of my children.”