The head of the state’s 911 unit is moving up to become emergency management director.
Robert Ezelle replaces Jim Mullen, who retired in February, setting off a search that drew candidates from in and out of state, narrowed to seven finalists for interviews.
Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty ended up picking someone already at Camp Murray. Ezelle has been director since 2010 of a homeland security grant program, and a year later added 911 to his portfolio — taking over a troubled unit and by some accounts turning it around.
Now he will coordinate the state’s response in the event of an emergency or disaster such as a lahar, earthquake or terrorist attack. He will take over the Emergency Management Division, which is under the Military Department led by Daugherty.
Other than his work in the past three years, Ezelle’s background is mostly military rather than emergency management. He is a retired colonel with the Washington Air National Guard and was an official at the Western Air Defense Sector in the years after Sept. 11, 2001.
Ezelle starts April 1.