Columbia County is home to one of the hardest working people in the CSRA and she does it with a smile.
“I’m Pam Tucker and I’ve lived in Columbia County for 34 years,” said Pam Tucker, who has been the director of the Columbia County Emergency Management agency for the past 15 years.
Before coming to Columbia County, Tucker worked in the same capacity for Richmond County. The move to Columbia County was going to be hard work and she was ready.
“There was really no EMA program to the extent that a correct program should be. That was the year of Y2K and I was told by [Columbia County] Commissioners we needed a plan by the end of the year and it was already April. It was just massive,” Tucker told us.
Tucker’s job, as well as those on her staff, is to help save lives, protect property, and reduce the effects of disasters and to create a safer, less vulnerable community with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters.
Tucker and her staff serve approximately 124,053 citizens living in Columbia County, including the cities of Harlem and Grovetown, and that keeps her very busy. “I had to start with a brand new staff and train them and I think, for the first 2 years, I didn’t have a vacation and I don’t think I ever quit working. But, that’s what it took. If you’re going to be dedicated to the community, that’s what you have to do,” she said.
Tucker has seen her share of disasters from plane crashes, ice storms, to tornadoes and she goes the extra mile to care for people in her county. “I took a lady a NOAA weather radio to her after a tornado had hit. [It] didn’t hit her house, thankfully, but destroyed her barn and everything outside,” she said.
Tucker has a premier program that happens to be a leader in the state and, with Columbia County growing by leaps and bounds every year, she has no plans to call it quits anytime soon. “I plan to be here as long as people want me here, as long as I feel that I’m functioning highly and doing a good job. I can’t imagine leaving,” she said.
During any disaster, it’s nice to know that Pam Tucker and the Columbia County EMA will be at the ready.