Daily Archives: October 27, 2008

Island’s ‘Master of Disaster’ hit by economic storm

Ed Call has spent the last year and a half getting Bainbridge Islanders ready for natural disasters.

But before an earthquake rattled the bridge or a storm knocked out the island’s power, a man-made disaster struck, and Call one of its first victims.

“When I saw the economic condition of the city, and then the country, I knew the writing was on the wall for me,” said Call, the city’s emergency preparedness coordinator.

Call’s position was cut from the city’s proposed budget in an effort to reduce spending amid sharply declining revenues. Along with Call, the city plans to cut a police officer position, six public works positions and other jobs as part of an 10 percent staffing reduction.

As a contract employee, Call considered himself “an anomaly in the fiscal program” that would likely go to the front of the line for the chopping block.

But if the city had to choose between him or another cop, Call said the city made the right decision in cutting his position, which focuses on emergency preparedness presentations and city staff training. The Hansville resident has also worked to improve emergency planning coordination and communication between police, the city, fire department and other organizations.

“The city needs to think about public safety first, and that means having officers on the job,” he said.

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