Smelser to Retire from Sullivan County Emergency Communications Center Post This Year

John M. Dabbs

Sullivan County Emergency Communications District confirmed earlier today, The communications chief is preparing to step down at the end of this month after a 30-year commitment to 9-1-1 dispatch in Sullivan County. Virginia Smelser is currently the Executive Director of Sullivan County 9-1-1, a post she has held since 2017.

Smelser has a long background in emergency services, starting her career as an EMT and volunteer at the Bluff City Rescue Squad, she has also been a reserve deputy sheriff. Smelser began her 9-1-1 career at Sullivan County during the start-up of the 9-1-1 system in the county in 1988. She worked for the county's emergency communications district until she moved to the Bristol Tennessee 911 communications district in 1999, where she became the city's 9-1-1 Director, serving in the post for nearly 24 years.

Smelser has dedicated her life to her family and emergency services. She is a Tennessee paramedic, and certified Emergency Medical Dispatch instructor. Smelser has been a certified dispatch/communications instructor for multiple emergency services for more than 25 years.

During her carer, she's gained recognition, serving on many local, state, and national committees and boards. She was recognized by the Tennessee 911 Hall of Fame for her work. Smelser will definitely be leaving a legacy and a void when she leaves her post.

The Sullivan County Emergency Communications District (9-1-1) posted the job opening on August 1, looking for an Executive Director. The position is a full-time salaried position with a comprehensive benefits package. The position requires a person who can work directly with the Board of Directors.

Smelser says the position requires someone capable of making policy decisions, developing and implementing a budget, establishing priorities for budgeting, and maintaining compliance with the Tennesse Emergency Communications Board and Tennessee Comptroller's requirements for budget approval. More information and complete detail of the posting can be found at the Sullivan County 911 website.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN

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