BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County’s Emergency Services Director is retiring at the end of the year.
According to a news release from the county, Brian Watts is stepping down effective Dec. 31. Fire Administrator Malcolm Smith will serve as interim emergency services director while a search is conducted to fill the position full time.
Watts worked for Brunswick County for 16 years and was named emergency services director in 2014. Before that, he worked 12 years as Brunswick's emergency medical services division director for 12 years.
“I have found Brian to be a person with a strong work ethic, during good times and challenging events,” County Manager Ann Hardy said in the release. “Hurricane Florence was the strongest storm to affect Brunswick County during my 14 years working for the county, and Brian was focused and dedicated throughout the event. His decisions and actions helped protect lives and property during the storm, and helped quickly restore normalcy to our citizens in the aftermath.
"We wish him all the best for this next chapter in his life.”
Before coming to Brunswick County, Watts worked for Mecklenburg County EMS and spent 16 years — the last two as chief — with Union Road Volunteer Fire Department in Gastonia.
Smith had nearly 20 years of fire and rescue experience before joining Brunswick County emergency services. He was a fire and rescue instructor at local institutions for much of that time, according to the release.