County hires EMS director

A Columbus woman who formerly served as a deputy for retiring Bartholomew County Emergency Management Director Dennis Moats will now succeed him.

The Bartholomew County Commissioners on Monday unanimously voted to hire Shannan Hinton to take Moats’ place as he retires. Hinton was recommended for the job by a hiring committee set up to sort through potential candidates for Moats’ replacement.

Moats served on the hiring committee and said Hinton was by far the most qualified candidate for the position.

“Her input was vital during the flood of 2008,” he said. “And, she has the state and federal contacts instrumental to getting the best services for the county.”

Moats has led the emergency management agency for 24 years, which included responding to 2008’s massive flooding in Columbus, which caused three deaths and an estimated $500 million in property damage.

Hinton worked for Bartholomew County Emergency Management from 2002 to 2008, before taking a coordinator position with the District 8 office of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Agency. She coordinated emergency services across seven counties which includes Bartholomew, Brown and Monroe counties.

Hinton said she was attracted to the position as she values staying closer to home. “I enjoy working at the local level and thought this is a position I would be good at,” she said.

Six people applied for the position and two, including Hinton, were interviewed.

Born and raised in Decatur, Hinton has lived in Columbus for 21 years.

As she steps into the job, she said a priority will be to put together emergency response scenarios for active shooter situations.

Moats will officially retire as emergency management director on Dec. 31, although he is using vacation time until then. Hinton plans to officially start her new job on Jan. 19.

Shannan Hinton

Name: Shannan Hinton

Age: 41

Address: Columbus

Education: Bachelor’s degree in emergency management from Trine University and multiple certifications, including Class 1 and 2 firefighter training and emergency medical technician training. She also has international certified emergency manager status from the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Previous experience: Served as Bartholomew County deputy emergency management director from 2002 to 2008. Since then she has served as Indiana Emergency Management Agency District 8 coordinator.