Thursday, December 1, 2011

CRESA Board appoints Anna Pendergrass Agency’s new director

Vancouver, WA – The Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency executive board today named Anna Pendergrass, a 35-year veteran of the emergency services field, director of the regional public safety agency.

Pendergrass has served as the agency’s interim director since the June retirement of Tom Griffith, who held the position for 11 years. Her appointment is effective today; a final employment agreement is pending.

CRESA provides 9-1-1 dispatch, emergency and disaster management and technology services that maintain emergency radio and computer systems. It also oversees the ambulance contract for Emergency Medical Service District 2. Its service area is all seven Clark County cities and the county’s unincorporated area.

The agency also hosts the Region IV Homeland Security Office, which coordinates Homeland Security efforts in Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.

Pendergrass’ lengthy experience, ideas and understanding of the agency, its first responder partners and the community’s needs made her appointment the logical and fiscally prudent choice, said Don Chaney, chair of the agency’s executive board.

Her proposals for enhancing public services and ability to immediately step into the position will provide the agency and community with continued stable, high-quality and reliable emergency services, he said.

“Anna’s experience, intelligence and bearing qualify her for this appointment,” Chaney said. “She projects and acknowledges a passion for service to the Clark County community. She has our full confidence.”

As director, Pendergrass will be responsible for all aspects of emergency management and Homeland Security, technical services and administrative duties.

Among her duties, she will continue to seek grants and other financing for agency services and cost savings and regional cooperation in matters such as upgrading the agency’s radio and telephone systems.

Board member Ben Peeler, chief of North Country Emergency Medical Service, said Pendergrass taking the helm of CRESA will be “a seamless transition.”

“From a responder’s perspective, she has the historical knowledge, knows all employees and has great rapport with the partners, or responding agencies,” he said. “She’ll do a great job.”

CRESA recruited and hired Pendergrass as operations manager in 2004. In that position, she oversaw the day-to-day functions of the emergency dispatch center, where 9-1-1 calls are received and from where operators send police, fire and medical experts in response.

She also oversaw employee training and continuing education programs, as well as performance quality assurance and accreditation for the agency and dispatchers.

Earlier, Pendergrass – a certified Emergency Medical Technician – served as supervisor of American Medical Response’s regional dispatch center in Portland. She also worked as AMR’s communications director, securing National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers certification for the center.

Pendergrass began her career in Grant’s Pass, Ore. as a dispatcher for Josephine County. During her 23 years with the county, she also served as the sheriff’s administrative assistant, managing employees and a $12 million budget. She later was administrator for the records and dispatch divisions as well as interim 9-1-1 director.


Contact: Don Chaney, chair, CRESA executive board, (360) 834-3242

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