New emergency manager brings 35 years of firefighting experience to the job.

March 29, 2022

Maloney

New emergency manager brings 35 years of firefighting experience to the job.

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By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Troy Maloney was hired as the Oceana County Emergency Manager in late December replacing James Duram who retired.

“I come from the fire service world,” said Maloney who worked in the firefighting field for 35 years. He worked his way up the ranks and served as fire chief in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area for 12 years. 

Maloney, who lives in Golden Township, visited the Silver Lake Sand Dunes as a young adult. “I grew up a dune kid.” Maloney was raised in Dexter, Michigan near Ann Arbor.

“My goal is to take what has already been built upon and build upon relationships and uniting our emergency services as a whole. That means all of our law enforcement, the ambulance service and all of our fire departments — just getting them to work together more to be prepared for larger incidents. It’s all about collaboration and coordination.”

The emergency manager is overseen by Oceana County administrator, the Oceana County Board of Commissioners Law and Safety Committee and the Michigan State Police Division of Homeland Security. 

“It’s helping coordinate events for our local responders that are above their normal daily practice,” Maloney explained. “Any time we’re dealing with multi-agency events.”

Small, rural communities like Oceana County generally do not have very many large-scale emergencies. That is why it is so important for emergency staff to prepare. “We’re fortunate we don’t have a lot of (emergencies). But when you don’t have a lot of them, it requires you to train more because you don’t do the actual work very often.”

Large-scale emergencies also require assistance from neighboring communities, said Maloney. Two house fires at the same time would require departments from nearby counties to assist. 

“Part of my goal is to make people realize that they have to come up with a plan of how to work better together. Trying to promote shared services in any aspect that we can has really been the goal.” 

A lack of manpower among volunteer firefighters has been an issue. “And our call volume keeps going up,” said Maloney. In recent years, protocol for structure fire response was changed in Oceana County. Two departments would initially be called, but now three departments are dispatched. Depending on the severity of the blaze, more departments are called to the scene.

“The fire service in America is not getting any easier with the lack of people to do the job.”

Maloney has a degree in fire service management with a focus on organizational leadership. 

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