Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County ECC names new executive director

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The ECC Management Board has appointed Larry “Sonny” Saxton Jr. as executive director for the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) effective Aug. 26.

The ECC provides all emergency communications services for Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. Saxton will oversee the daily operations of the ECC, which receives all 911 calls in the area and serves as the central dispatch for the three police departments, all EMS and fire system calls, and the coordination of emergency management among the three jurisdictions.

“We’re thrilled Sonny has agreed to serve in this important position,” said Gloria Graham, associate vice president for safety and security for the University of Virginia and Chair of the ECC Management Board. “His record of public service and direct experience working in and leading an emergency communications center and emergency management at complex organizations will prove invaluable to Albemarle County, Charlottesville and the University of Virginia.”

Since 2003, Saxton has served as deputy director of communications at Mercy Emergency Services Communications Center in Springfield, Mo., where he oversees operations for a multi-state and multi-discipline emergency communication center. Saxton has also worked since 2004 as a public safety consultant throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Saxton began his 25-year career in public safety as a firefighter in Aurora, Mo.,for nearly a decade while serving as an EMT and paramedic. After a stint as assistant emergency management director for the city of Aurora, Saxton served as EMS manager and supervisor at Mercy EMS, while remaining active as a paramedic.

“It will be an honor to serve alongside the Emergency Communications Center team members, the ECC Board, and all public safety partners in Albemarle County, Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia,” Saxton said. “With a continued focus on best practices, emerging technology, stewardship, and collaboration, I look forward to serving the needs of this diverse and growing region.”

Saxton has served as president of the Missouri National Emergency Number Association and was a governor’s appointee and vice chairman of the Missouri 9-1-1 Service Board.

He earned a master of science degree from John’s Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Services from Penn State University. He maintains certification as an Emergency Number Professional (ENP) with the National Emergency Number Association.

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