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story.lead_photo.caption Sierra Thomas

A new Jefferson City/Cole County emergency management director will take the reins Jan. 1.

Bill Farr has served as director since January 2008. Earlier this year, he told the Cole County Commission he planned to retire; the commission sought applicants for the position and interviewed several candidates.

On Tuesday, the commission offered the position to Sierra Thomas.

In a news release, commissioners said Thomas is a native of Cole County, growing up in Russellville, with a "lengthy background in emergency management."

Thomas' past job duties include deputy director of Camden County Emergency Management. She currently works for the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission as the fiscal officer and works with the regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee coordinator. She is also procurement officer associated with Missouri Department of Homeland Security.

Commissioners noted Thomas has worked with emergency services agencies in 13 Mid-Missouri counties and has completed many Federal Emergency Management training courses.

The emergency management coordinator helps oversee the activities of the emergency response agencies in Cole County, including Jefferson City.

Farr is a former Missouri fire marshal who was confirmed to that position in May 1996, after his appointment by then-Gov. Mel Carnahan. Gov. Bob Holden reappointed him, and Gov. Matt Blunt kept Farr as the acting fire marshal.

Farr's last day of employment with Cole County will be Feb. 28.

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