Frontline Responders: Charles Grisham

Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT
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Second-generation volunteer fireman and veteran Lauderdale Emergency Management volunteer, Charles Grisham, is no stranger to responding to disasters. In January he was hired as head of operations and administration at LEMA, and being on the paid side now, this lifelong volunteer is still learning new tricks.

“Being I was working another job I couldn’t just go to every call, now I get to actually go to some of those calls,” Grisham said. “It’s more like ‘well, I learned something new today,’ and it’s not a day that goes by I don’t learn something new. it has been a learning experience and I enjoy every minute of it.”

in his time at LEMA Grisham has dedicated himself to improving the agency so that it can better serve Lauderdale County. That includes three new monitors and a projector in the headquarters so department heads and responders can seamlessly get information and form a plan, and most recently a mobile response center.

“in the event that we have to leave our EOC here, maybe due to damage or something, everything can be shifted over to this and we can actually take care of all the calls right here,” Grisham said.

The response center was acquired in a trade with Newton County, they needed a smaller trailer, which LEMA had, and LEMA needed a bigger one, which they had.

“In terms of taxpayer money, it didn’t cost the taxpayers anything really to get this. In all essence they actually saved money by this particular venture happening, everything works smoothly. We’re taking what we have and actually building upon that and making everything better,” Grisham explained.

“it’s going to help save their lives,” I said.

“Yes, yes, this is going to make people in Lauderdale County, Clarke County, Newton County, and all our surrounding counties a lot safer.”

For Grisham and LEMA as a whole, the work is never done… but to him, it is a match made in heaven.

“I love it, I love it, working here full time is like a dream come true”

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