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County Executive

Posted on: September 15, 2017

Horrigan Announces Appointment of New Director of Emergency Services


Pictured, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan (right) welcomes John Griffith (left) as the new Chautauqua County Director of Emergency Services.


MAYVILLE, N.Y.: -- Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has announced his appointment of John Griffith as the new Chautauqua County Director of Emergency Services.

Griffith will begin his position on October 2, 2017 and he will replace current director Julius Leone Jr., who will be retiring at the end of October.

Since 2012, Griffith has served as Fourth Battalion Coordinator for the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services. In this position, he has provided leadership and support to the 10 fire departments in the southeast corner of Chautauqua County, responded to fire and emergency medical calls, and served as editor of the Office of Emergency Services’ newsletter, “The Responder.”

He has been a member of the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department since 1982 and over the years he has served as the department’s fire chief, assistant chief, president and secretary. He is also a current member of the Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board, Chautauqua County Fire Chief’s Association, and Chautauqua County Emergency Medical Services Council.

Griffith’s experience also extends beyond the emergency services setting. For nearly 20 years, he was a co-owner of Zahm and Matson Inc., where he supervised over 150 employees and oversaw 7 John Deere dealerships in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. He also served as Town Supervisor for the Town of Ellington from 1992 to 1999.

“John has 35 years of experience in responding to emergencies and working with others to manage many fire, hazmat, and EMS scenes,” said Horrigan. “His impressive background in the emergency services and business settings will make him a great asset to the county. I am excited to work with John in his new capacity as director. By having him come on early, he will be able to work alongside Julius to ensure a smooth transition and the continued success of our Office of Emergency Services and its programs.”

"I am honored to have been selected for this position and look forward to working with the Emergency Services staff, the first responders and the 42 fire departments of Chautauqua County,” said Griffith.

Griffith earned his Associate’s Degree in Business Administration at Jamestown Community College and has a Professional New York State Basic Emergency Medical Technician license. He currently resides in Falconer, N.Y.

The selection of the new director of emergency services was made through the help of a bipartisan search committee, which selected its top candidates for Horrigan to interview. Members of the search committee included Leone; Bob Bankowski, Chautauqua County Legislator—D-Dunkirk; Kevin Muldowney, Chautauqua County Legislator—R-Dunkirk; Anthony Cavallaro, Deputy Fire Coordinator of the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services; and a Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board member from each of the four fire battalions in the county: Brian Purol, First Battalion Representative; Ronald Trippy, Second Battalion Representative; Jack Knowlton, Third Battalion Representative; and Jeff Molnar, Fourth Battalion Representative.


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