Warren Cabe, current director of emergency services for Macon County, will be leaving the position later this month to take a new job with the Town of Franklin.
On Monday, the town announced that it had hired Cabe as the director of fire and emergency management, a new position that will allow the town to develop its own emergency operations plan and tailor such planning to the town's specific needs. The position will absorb to role of the town's fire chief, a job which is soon to become vacant with the retirement of Pete Haithcock.
Cabe says establishing the new department will help the town as it plans, not just for fire or standard emergencies, but for natural disasters and other catastrophes. He added that many towns in North Carolina have begun looking at the advantage of having a person on staff that is specifically responsible for such planning.
“A lot of municipalities are looking at the option of expanding into the emergency management field,” Cabe explained. “A lot of times it is the fire and rescue departments that are performing those duties, and it just makes sense that if you are going to have an emergency management department, to combine that with the fire department.”
According to town manager Sam Greenwood, the new position will combine a number of different functions and give the town the advantage preparing a comprehensive emergency plan that will coordinate all town departments. “While the town participates in the county's emergency response plan, it does not provide capabilities for the town departments to participate and develop their own emergency management planning which would really benefit them,” Greewood said.
Since 1996, Cabe has held his current job with the county, while also serving as a paramedic, a member of Franklin Fire and Rescue and the assistant fire chief at Clarks Chapel Fire and Rescue. The town interviewed three individuals, including Cabe, for the position of fire chief.
Cabe makes $80,340 in his current job with the county. The town position will pay $75,000 plus associated benefits, including public employ retirement benefits which will transfer from his time with the county.
Cabe is scheduled to begin his work with the town at the end of August. Haithcock will continue on as fire chief until the end of Novemeber as the town transitions the position into the new department. Cabe's office will be located at the fire station.
Cabe is a graduate of Mars Hill College where he received his B.S. in Business Administration. He also graduated from Southwestern Community College where he received his North Carolina EMT and Paramedic Certification. He has also obtained additional education and certifications in his role as Director of Emergency Services such as Chief 101 Certification, Incident Management Systems Certification, and Lean Government training from NC State University, etc.
A press release from Greenwood's office announcing Cabe's hiring said, “It is with great pleasure on the behalf of the Town of Franklin to announce Warren Cabe as the new Fire and Emergency Management Director. Warren brings a multitude of valuable knowledge and experience to the Town of Franklin.”
The press release also noted that Cabe plays an active role in the community and is a board member of the Burningtown-Iotla Fire & Rescue as well as of Macon County Carenet.
On Wednesday, Greenwood noted that Cabe's experience made him an ideal candidate for the job. “That's another advantage, of course, Warren was the creator of the county plan, so we're getting him pre-trained,” he said.
Cabe noted that in his new position he will have to coordinate with the county through whoever might take over in his current position.
Asked why he decided to leave the county and take a new job with the town at a pay cut, Cabe said, “Macon County has been good to me, and I have liked my job here, but this is just a different avenue for me to pursue, and I decided it was time to pursue it.”
Cabe also noted that he began his career in fire service as a volunteer and only later migrated to his current occupation. “There will be a lot of new challenges and opportunities,” he said.