Georgetown Co. emergency manager wins statewide award

GEORGETOWN COUNTY — Sam Hodge, Georgetown County's emergency manager since 2008, has been named the SC Emergency Management Association's Director of the Year for 2013. He also won the award in 2011.

The honor, presented during the SC Emergency Management Association's annual workshop at Grand Dunes last week, came as a surprise to Hodge, but those who work with him agree the award is well deserved.

"This award is a testament to Sam's commitment and dedication to our county's emergency preparedness effort," said Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway. "It's nice to see that his peers recognize what we already know."

"Georgetown County is extremely fortunate to have Sam as our emergency manager," said Greg Troutman, the county's director of human resources and administrative services. "He is a thorough and proactive planner, a skilled organizer and a respected expert source." Hodge has been involved in emergency service science since 1984, when he joined the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Department. He started as a volunteer and became one of the department's first paid firefighters in 1986. After going back to school and getting his paramedic certification, he was hired at Midway Fire Rescue as a firefighter/paramedic in 1990 and moved up the ladder to lieutenant, then battalion chief. He was in that position in 2006 when he transferred to Georgetown County's emergency management department.

"My life mission has always been to help people in need," Hodge said. "In the emergency management field, I have the opportunity to do that — to help people plan and be better prepared for emergencies."