Autauga County EMA Director steps down after 10 years of service

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:33 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Autauga County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has a new man in charge.

After over 10 years as EMA director, Ernie Baggett is on to his next adventure.

“It’s been fun here. It’s been a journey,” Baggett said about his time with the EMA.

Whether it be a hurricane, flooding, tornado, severe storm, or even a pandemic, Baggett has been on the ground to help lead the charge in planning, response, and recovery, including most recently in the aftermath of the January 12th tornado that killed seven people.

“Every bit of this has been a team effort. It’s never been a one-person thing doing anything,” Baggett said. “Many hands make a light load, and that’s how it’s always worked here. That’s why we’ve been able to move forward in the tornado recovery like we have.”

Baggett has accepted a new position with the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA).

“Part of my duties there will be working in long-term recovery, which is something that is right in my wheelhouse and I enjoy doing,” Baggett said.

Gary Weaver, who has served as deputy director under Baggett for nearly 10 years, will take over as EMA Director.

“It’s a great honor,” Weaver said.

Weaver not only has a decade of experience with the EMA but also served for 23 years in the Air National Guard at Dannelly Field in Montgomery and three years in the active-duty Air Force.

“It relates. A lot of the terminology they use is FEMA and EMA. It’s a lot of the same programs, and paperwork is the same, so you’ve got a leg up,” Weaver said.

Baggett and Weaver have worked together for 24 years, both in the Air National Guard and at war. They both served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It’s a lifetime of partnership Weaver says will make for a smooth transition.

“It’s gonna be exciting for all of us, and change is good,” Weaver said.

Baggett’s last day as EMA Director is March 31st. Weaver will assume the role immediately after.

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