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Veteran Hardin County firefighter, emergency management official retiring after 36 years of service

Deputy EMA Director Marilyn White has worked for the Hardin County Fire Department for 36 years and retires June 4.

Hardin County Deputy Emergency Management Agency Director Marilyn White is retiring June 4 after a 36 year career in firefighting and emergency management.
“I love my job, however it’s a big responsibility,” said White, 65.
A deputy EMA director plans for disasters, supports all agencies during disasters and helps in recovery.
“In EMA, as in any emergency you never know what you will be facing each day,” said White. “You always try to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It’s a way of life and can easily become your life.”
White has worked with three fire chiefs over more than three decades – Jim Berry, Buddy Lewis and now Melvin Martin.
“Each one has been a good boss, however I have always worked for the citizens of Hardin County. They were my ultimate boss,” she said.
According to White, “all emergency services in our county have always worked together when emergencies came knocking on our door, always working through them together. That says a lot for our county. This includes full-time personnel, as well as volunteers. I never have had an instance in my career where when I needed someone’s help they told me they couldn’t help.
“There is group that deserves a huge thank you – the volunteer firefighters, those who served in the past and the ones serving now,” White added.
White has seen major changes in technology during her tenure.
“We had a TRS-80 computer with floppy drives in the office when I started in 1985,” said White. “Another big change is the increase in required fire training.”
White said she “still recalls the first call, a single vehicle accident in the Olive Hill area on Highway 64, where two men died.”
She said that “all losses of life are hard to deal with, but the loss of our volunteer firefighter, Gus Losleben and the pulpwood truck driver in a wreck on Dec. 9, 2014, has been one of the most difficult to handle. “Comforting family members after the loss of their home or business in a tornado, windstorm or flood is another hard thing to handle, the individuals having lost everything that they worked for all their lives.”
Looking ahead to retirement, White says, “Mostly I want my stress levels to go down so I’ll be getting more rest. Hardin County will always be my home, I’ll be around, just in a much less stressful role. I will continue to work part-time for Walkertown Auto Body. You’ll probably see or hear of me back in volunteer roles in the county. I truly love my county and the people in it. May God bless.”
Fire Chief Melvin Martin has worked with White for nearly 17 years and appreciates her knowledge and experience.
“Marilyn’s really going to be missed,” said Martin. “We’ve worked together good as a team. There have been a lot of disasters in Hardin County and she’s been excellent at helping the county through all of them.”
A retirement reception for White is Friday, June 4, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at District 12 Fire Station, 90 Walnut St.
The new Hardin County deputy EMA director is LaRae Smiley Sliger, former Savannah Main Street director. Sliger has been in the fire and emergency medical services field since the early 2000s as a firefighter and paramedic.

1 Comment

  1. Tony Godwin on June 4, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Congratulations! I remember the old days when we depended on you for most things. We could never have done what we did without you.

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