Cooper achieved the status following more than 230 hours of coursework in emergency training, which included courses on flood readiness, debris removal, and severe weather preparedness.
“The state always requires you to have at least the minimum state certification in emergency management,” Cooper said. “But you can go farther. I wanted to get the maximum.”
There was no real monetary incentive for Cooper to take his training to a higher level. It was just his desire to be at the top of his game.
He spent close to two years taking classes, both online and in the field.
Cooper said attaining the highest designation only increases his confidence and knowledge as EMA director, which should only benefit the people of Gordon County.
“Most definitely,” he said. “Like any other fire, EMS or whatever, you train to the best of your abilities. I have bettered my abilities and capabilities as EMA director and in making decisions.”
Gordon County Administrator Randy Dowling said he could not be more pleased with Cooper’s achievement.
“He is one of only a few EMA directors in the state that have this designation,” Dowling said. “He took it upon himself to get these classes. This is over 200 hours of course work. He is to be commended to getting this designation.”
The achievement also increased Dowling’s confidence in Cooper’s abilities should a disaster strike.
“It increases my confidence in him and now he knows a lot more about handling natural and man made disasters should they strike Gordon County.”