Robert (Robbie) L. Wilkie, Caldwell County Emergency Services Director, is retiring effective October 1, 2015.
Wilkie has served as Emergency Services Director since 2013. In that role, he has been responsible for all administrative and budgetary duties as well as policy decisions for three county departments: Caldwell County Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Fire Marshal’s office. He also served as coordinator and over-all manager for fire and rescue services and coordinated the activities of all governmental and non-governmental agencies to provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the county.
Wilkie also serves as handler for Ember, the Caldwell County Accelerant Detection Canine. Wilkie and Ember assist in fire investigations all across the region. After retirement, Wilkie will continue to assist in fire investigations with Ember as a reserve officer for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Wilkie completed Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) from Catawba Valley Community College in 2006.
"I have had the privilege to work with some of the most dedicated, professional and caring people in emergency services,” says Wilkie. “The willingness of these individuals to work together is what has made Caldwell County Emergency Services what it is. There have been some difficult calls that have required knowledge and expertise from the different services - fire, rescue, ems, emergency management, communications and law enforcement and our folks have always risen to the occasion. I know I am leaving the County with well qualified, trained leaders who will continue to provide the best possible services to our citizens. I appreciate all the support and encouragement from those agencies and I look forward to seeing what great things they will accomplish in the future. I thank God for His wisdom, protection and blessings upon all of us who try to serve and protect our communities. "
Wilkie was promoted into the Emergency Services Director position after serving as Fire Marshal from 2004 through 2010. As Fire Marshal, he was responsible for ensuring public safety through fire inspections, fire investigations, public education and fire prevention and acted as communications link between all County fire departments and the Caldwell County Commissioners.
Emergency Management Coordinator was added to Willkie’s responsibilities in 2010 and in addition to his previous duties, he coordinated and acted as liaison for the County’s disaster recovery efforts overseeing disaster training, exercises and public awareness programs.
“One of the most valuable qualities a department head can have is professional dependability and Robbie is the perfect example,” says Stan Kiser, Caldwell County Manager. “When the County moved Robbie to Director for Caldwell County Emergency Services, I knew we had the best person for the job. I could always count on his steadfast devotion to service and his professionalism as he led the three divisions of Emergency Services. He worked hard to put the best people in the right positions. We wish him all the best as he moves to the next chapter of his life.”
Before working for Caldwell County, Wilkie served as a firefighter for the Lenoir Fire Department from 1988 through 2004 and worked his way through the ranks from Firefighter II to Fire Lieutenant to Fire Captain. He also served as a volunteer fire fighter with the North Catawba Fire Department from 1983 through 2004.
Wilkie has received multiple awards throughout his career, including Firefighter of the Year from the North Catawba Fire Department in 1985, then again the same honor from the Lenoir Fire Department in 1998, the Herbert D. Scholarship Award in August 1985, the Author H. “Ott” Dellinger Leadership Award in July 2006 and the William Stacy Speagle Memorial Award in July 2006. He has also earned over 12 different accreditations during his years of service.
In addition to BLET, Wilkie earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in 1988, a Bachelor of Science in Fire Service from the University of Maryland in 2000. He also earned the title of Executive Fire Officer from the National Fire Academy in Emittsburg, Maryland.
Wilkie lives in Baton with his wife, Carlene and their daughter.
For more information, contact, LouAnne Kincaid, Caldwell County Public Information Officer at 828-759-7879.
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