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Russellville native in charge of state EMA

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
After slightly more than six months as deputy director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA), Russellville native John James is getting his chance to run his own show – at least temporarily.
Friday, Governor Bob Riley accepted the resignation of Bruce Baughman as director of the AEMA effective August 10. Riley added that the search for a permanent replacement has already begun
In the meantime, James will assume responsibility for the agency on Aug. 11 until a replacement is named.
"That's what the job of the assistant director is for," James said, "If the EMA Director was to be away for any reason or for any length of time."
James started his career in Franklin County nearly two decades ago as a storm spotter for then-Franklin County EMA Director Carol Frederick, and has been busy working his way up ever since.
James served as a Regional Coordinator for the Alabama EMA in June 2003, and worked for Franklin County EMA as deputy director and for the Russellville City Fire Department.
James holds a bachelor's of science degree in Public Safety Administration from Athens State College and has completed several certifications in fire safety and emergency medicine. He was appointed Deputy Director of the Alabama EMA Feb. 1.
And even though his responsibilities have changed, James said he would operate the state EMA office.
"We're in the middle of hurricane season and we're working on several plans and exercises," James said. "We'll have business as usually, just like the director is on vacation."