LINCOLN — When Mark Landers took the oath of office as Logan County sheriff in December, he did so knowing that he had help from Dan Fulscher, the well-respected Logan County Emergency Management Agency director.
About two weeks later, Fulscher told Landers and the Logan County Board he was retiring from the position.
“I thought ‘Oh no, he can’t do that,’” Landers said. “Dan has been a loyal and integral part of the emergency management for 40 years.”
Last week, the Logan County Board appointed Landers to assume the duties of the director. Fulscher will stay on until June 30.
“We are going to be in a transition phase for the next few months,” Landers said. “Dan will stay on to help and he will guide me through the emergency management steps. It’s going to be a challenge, but we know we can make it work.”
Landers, who last week campaigned for approval of an upcoming referendum to build a new jail, said that he understands the responsibility of taking on both roles.
“It will be tough, but we have great people and great staffs to help us in each department,” he said. “It’s going to be a significant transition, but it will be a good thing for the county.
"There is no diminished capacity," he added. "We will continue to grow the public safety response for this community because that is vital and what we are here for.
“Going back to my military days, I have always said ‘It’s one team, one fight,’ and that’s who we are. From dispatch to emergency management to the sheriff’s office to the fire departments, when there is a disaster or catastrophe strikes, we all have to work together.”
Fulscher, who was appointed to the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency ESDA (later changed to EMA) position in July 1993, said he believes Landers is up to the task.
“People may be thinking that taking on both jobs may be too much or overwhelming,” Fulscher said. “But 16 years ago I was appointed as the ESDA director, but Mark is smarter, brighter and better than I was.
"I know that with the staff that is here, it’s only going to get better. I will stay on until I retire and even after that, my phone will be on if they need something.”
“God has been very good to me to allow me to be a part of this,” he said. “The people that surround me, they are the ones. They are the monsters. You stand tall when you are able to stand on giant shoulders, and I have been able to stand on a lot of giant shoulders to be there.”
In retirement, Fulscher plans to spend time on Little League fields with his grandsons or coaching his grandson in wrestling.
“If it’s fun, I will consider it,” he said.