• Last modified 588 days ago (Nov. 3, 2022)


No longer interim after $15,000 raise

Staff writer

After 4½ months as interim county emergency manager, Marcy Hostetler will now fill the role on a permanent basis.

County commissioners on Monday set Hostetler’s pay at $65,000 a year. Her predecessor, Randy Frank, was paid $49,980 a year.

An Omaha native, Hostetler worked as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, and emergency manager in Nebraska. She moved to Kansas in 2017 because her husband was recruited by Pfizer to work at McPherson.

Marion’s schools were what brought the family to live here.

Already working in the emergency management department with Frank, she has been handling manager duties since Frank’s May 16 termination.

She hesitated to accept them permanently until last week because she wanted to be able to attend games and school events for her daughters in middle school and high school.

“Emergency management isn’t just a job; it’s a lifestyle,” Hostetler said. “Family is still my first priority. That’s why it took so long.”

Hostetler hoped that the county would find a good emergency manager.

A factor in her decision to accept the position was an outpouring of support from law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, members of the public who stopped by to talk, and county commissioners, she said.

“I did not expect it. That was amazing,” Hostetler said.

She originally was hired as an assistant in February 2020, just before COVID-19 hit,

“I was helping with a preparedness grant,” Hostetler said.

She has completed state emergency management training, but that won’t be the end of her training.

“There is still training you need along the way,” she said.

The Oct. 23 Middle Creek fire was a good illustration of how emergency managers in Kansas support each other during emergencies, she said.

“Even the Rice County emergency manager called to ask if I needed anything, if I had any questions,” she said. “That support system is fantastic in Kansas. They are both willing to help with questions, concerns, directions to go.”

Her first order of business is to complete a 45-page report for the state in hope of getting a federal disaster payment.

“Working with the federal government there are always a lot of hoops you have to jump through,” she said.

She also is working to make presentations at senior centers. The presentations will be on weather radios and emergency preparedness.

Hostetler told county commissioners Monday she has made presentations on weather radios at two senior centers in the county. She still plans to visit a third senior center.

She has given out weather radios to seniors.

“When they’re at home, do they have a weather radio at home? When they’re out and about, do they have a cell phone messaging system?” she said.

Commissioners approved the purchase of 30 additional weather radios for her to give away. The cost will be $944.70.

She also plans to do presentations on creating emergency preparedness kits with essential supplies needed for sheltering at home.

“You don’t have to go out and buy all new things for emergency preparedness kits,” she said. “If you have an extra blanket, you can put it in there. When you buy bottled water, put a few in the kit. When you buy granola bars, maybe buy an extra box and put it in there.”

Hostetler also wants to do presentations for elementary students.

She will maintain an office at the health department.

High on her list is getting better topographical maps for when she’s in her truck at emergencies.

Last modified Nov. 3, 2022