After a closed-door meeting between City and County officials, the new Sedalia-Pettis County EMA director was publicly announced Monday night.

Randy Kirby

Trisha Rooda is currently the EMA director at Poweshieka County, Iowa, which is about five hours from Sedalia and close to Montezuma, Iowa. She was chosen from almost 50 candidates after a nationwide search, according to Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick. Rooda said she just officially learned of her hiring at the closed-door meeting Monday night.

“I went through the interview process a couple of weeks ago, then they called me back for another meeting tonight," Rooda said after the regular Council meeting.
"I'm really excited to move to Sedalia and start here as the EMA director," Rooda said, adding that it was an honor to be named Dave Clipper's replacement. Clippert resigned his post May 17 after nine years at the helm of Sedalia Pettis County EMA. Clippert moved to Des Moines and got married.

Rooda (pronounced Rhoda) begins her job in Sedalia Aug. 6, right before the start on the 2017 Missouri State Fair. Rooda noted that the population of Poweshieka County is around 19,500, (Pettis County's population was at 42,225 as of 2014), but she dealt with seven towns with seven fire departments, and a police department. She has been directly involved in emergency management for six years. Before that, Rooda wrote a number of emergency preparedness policies for colleges.

Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher and Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick introduced Rooda during the Council meeting.

"We had a joint meeting, first time ever (between the City of Sedalia and Pettis County)" Galliher said. "We made a trade with Iowa, we gave them Dave and we got Trisha."

Dick thanked the committee that conducted the search for a new EMA director. The committee was comprised of Chief John DeGonia, Fire Chief Mike Ditzfeld, Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond, and James Thiesen, Pettis County 911 coordinator. He also thanked John Rice for his diligence and professionalism. "It made our work a lot easier," he said.

"We were lucky to get her and she accepted the position. So I think it's going to be a good fit," DIck said. "The Mayor and I regard this as a position of trust."

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby