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McLean County Seeks New Emergency Manager

Charlie Schlenker

The long time head of McLean County's Emergency Management Agency is retiring. Curt Hawk has spent nearly 33 years with the county in two departments, 12 of them as head of Emergency Management. Hawk said technology has greatly improved how his office works.

"We've learned to utilize the social media to get us information that the people are putting out, also a way of controlling the false information, the rumors that are being tracked," Hawk said.

Hawk said video has also made damage assessment tasks much more effective.

County Board Chair John McIntyre praised Hawk for providing leadership all over the state as well as in his home county.

Hawk said he'll miss the rush of responding to a tornado or storm.  He said he's seen a little bit of everything, though probably the most memorable thing was animal not weather related.

"When the tiger got loose on the west side of Bloomington early on in my career, it was something you just don't often hear about. They had tried several times to tranquilize the cat, chasing him back and forth during the tree line," Hawk said.

Hawk said Conservation Police eventually had to put the Tiger down.    

Hawk has just published a book called the Emergency Managers Survival Guide and plans to turn his hand to novels as well.

McLean County will be looking for a new Emergency Management Agency Director. County Administrator Bill Wasson says the process is under review.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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