New emergency management coordinator ready to serve Cass County

CASSOPOLIS — A new face in Cass County government is working to ensure the county and its residents are prepared for anything that might come their way.

Kayla Malcom, 26, of Elkhart, was recently hired as the emergency management coordinator for Cass County. Working under the direction of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the emergency manager provides essential functions including directing and coordinating the development of

the Cass County Emergency Action Guidelines, identifying agencies included in the disaster

relief force, and coordinating the recruitment, appointment and utilization of volunteer personnel and ensuring the program meets requirements for state and federal aid.

“An emergency manager helps prepare the community for any hazard in the county,” she said. “Specific to Cass County would be severe weather and right now, COVID. We prepare for events like that, respond to events like that, help our law enforcement and first responders, and coordinate with them the best ways to prepare, respond and recover.”

Malcom not only works with local law and enforcement and first responders, she also works with agencies such as the American Red Cross to aid families and individuals affected by disasters such as fire and other emergencies.

Malcom has been in her position for just over a month. In that time, she has been working with outgoing emergency manager David Smith to learn the tricks of the trade and make connections in Cass County.

“It’s been awesome to have him here with me, and he has been very supportive,” Malcom said. “Things are going really well so far.”

Prior to taking her new position, Malcom earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Most recently, she has worked as a paralegal.

She said an internship as an emergency management assistant on the east side of the state solidified her interest in the field, so when the job became available in Cass County, she knew she had to take it.

“I have family in law enforcement, so I was always kind of drawn to this field, the criminal justice and public administration world,” she said. “Emergency management kind of encompassed all these fields I was interested in — law enforcement, fire, EMS, Red Cross — all these different agencies. [As emergency manager], you are kind of the connection between police and fire and dispatch and Red Cross and all these different agencies and hospitals. You are kind of working with everyone, and that really intrigued me.”

Now that she is getting settled into her new position, Malcom said she is happy to be in Cass County.

“It’s good, and it’s different,” she said. “I think it’s a great step in my career. Everyone I’ve met so far has been great.”

As she continues in her position, Malcom said she wants to help raise awareness in the county about the need to prepare for emergency situations. As September is National Preparedness Month, she said this month is a great time to start.

“The most important thing is to have a conversation with your family, like where are you going to evacuate in a fire?” Malcom said. “Even just small conversations like that can make a big difference in case of an emergency.”

Education

Parents protest masks at Niles Community Schools Board of Education meeting

Berrien County

CFCN hosting flu, COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Business

Under the Harvest Moon Festival to offer children’s activities

News

Niles man, 13-year-old passenger killed in Sodus Township crash

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Old Rugged Cross Church hosts church, museum dedication

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Elks hosting annual Guys and Dolls Golf Outing

News

New general surgeon seeing patients in Niles

Edwardsburg

Michigan Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall stops in Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg

PHOTO STORY: Edwardsburg Area Chamber of Commerce hosts fall festival

News

Niles man sentenced to probation for drunk driving

News

PHOTO STORY: Uptown Fright Fest a success

News

PHOTO STORY: Niles student crowned Miss Apple Festival 2021

News

Three injured in Howard Township crash

Dowagiac

Medical event causes car to crash into Dowagiac Burger King

Cass County

Cassopolis man sent to prison on drug charges

Dowagiac

SMC recognized for turning students into citizens

Dowagiac

ETS program awarded grant from Department of Education

Cass County

Dowagiac man who broke elementary school windows sentenced to probation

Dowagiac

Changes to retirement benefits cause for concern among Cass County employees

News

Niles first ward residents ask for an end to gun violence in their community

Buchanan

Buchanan Area Senior Center raising funds to convert porch into sunroom

Cass County

Man arrested on drug charges in Mason Township

Cass County

Cass County Commissioners approve grant for Dowagiac River restoration

Business

Lyons Industries donates 12 thermal imaging cameras to Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department