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January 15, 2013

Emergency management director retiring this month

NORMAN — After serving 20 years as Cleveland County’s emergency management director, Dan Cary is hanging up his hat.

Cary will be retiring near the end of January. An official date for a retirement reception hasn’t been set yet but will most likely be hosted at the end of February, a county employee said.

During his time spent working in Cleveland County, it seems that Cary has just about seen it all. Before his 20 years of county service, he worked for the Norman Police Department for more than 24 years and spent time with the Oklahoma Association Chiefs of Police.

Cary has responded to a number of disasters and events, including floods, tornadoes, wildfires, ice storms, snow storms and earthquakes.

He also assisted with the Murrah Building bombing in 1995.

“During that time, we required a lot of coordination with local emergency management, law enforcement and fire (personnel) throughout the county and adjoining counties. It was always a team effort to address the response to the situation that was going on and protect the citizens,” he said.

Another duty was maintaining records of any chemical spills within Cleveland County and making that information available to citizens.

“Probably the biggest challenge was the need for the massive response to address the snow storms, flooding events and tornadoes,” Cary said. “It requires cooperation throughout — dealing with people you work with every day, plus people who come in through adjoining communities or states to assist with response and recovery.”

Cary said he has always had the best interest of the community in mind during his time spent as a police officer and emergency management director.

“I’d say my biggest accomplishment was ensuring that the citizens are well served,” he said.

Cary said every effort is made to address citizens’ needs.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t work with Dan on some instance,” County Commissioner Rod Cleveland said.

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