Dorner is Mohave County Emergency Management Director

Joe Dorner is the Mohave County Risk and Emergency Management director. (Mohave County photo)

Joe Dorner is the Mohave County Risk and Emergency Management director. (Mohave County photo)

KINGMAN – He’s only weeks into the new job, but Joseph (Joe) Dorner has the background and gravitas for the exacting county position he now runs. He directs both the Risk and Emergency Management programs.

His Risk Management responsibilities include direct supervision of four employees, oversight of risk management procedures for all county departments, county facility security, employee accident review and investigation, continuity of operations and facility emergency planning, insurance coverage review, and claim investigation.

If that’s not enough of a workload, Dorner’s Emergency Management responsibilities also include supervision of two employees, grant and budget development and supervision, oversight and development of emergency plans, development and coordination of countywide training program and multi-agency exercises, coordination of emergency planning with city and tribal jurisdictions, and advising the county board of supervisors and county manager during emergencies.

Dorner has taken over from long-time county director Byron Steward, who just retired, and his background has led him over numerous successful curved paths and pursuits into this brand new work stop that is his perfect fit in Kingman. He was born in the county seat after all, graduated from Kingman High School and even returned to teach there after it became Lee Williams High School.

Dorner went to college at Yavapai College in Prescott and received his master’s degree in leadership. He’s a certified public manager, certified paramedic, and certified teacher in emerging technologies. One summer, while at home in Kingman, he applied for and was hired by Hualapai Valley Fire District (currently called the Northern Arizona Fire District). He ended up staying there for nine years, moved up through the ranks and left, achieving positions of fire chief, and Fourth generation firefighter.

Dorner worked for the City of Kingman Fire Department for 22 years, retiring there as assistant chief in charge of operations. Then, as a teacher for the Kingman Unified School District, he established a fire service program and taught Fire Service and Medical Terminology/Occupations for more than seven years. He loved the teaching, and said “it was rewarding and heartfelt making a difference in some children’s lives, helping them to become productive in society, be critical thinkers, and responsible people in whatever community they would live in.” He can’t imagine not having those high school teaching years in his life. (Although he has also been an affiliate faculty member for Mohave Community College for over 30 years.)

As noted here, Dorner’s qualifications for his new job as director of one of the county’s most essential departments is extensive and reveals how he went to the top of the applicants list. He said “my background in risk is associated with the management of emergency personnel, apparatus and equipment while providing emergency services to the public,” adding “my background in emergency management involved working in many of the same areas that this position with the county requires. That includes including participating as a member of the Local Emergency Planning Committed (LEPC), sitting on a regional Homeland Security advisory committee and the development of preparedness and response plans.”

Dorner asserts that his department demands full attention and is “very detail oriented and geared to providing quality customer service to other Mohave County departments and citizens. There are many moving parts in both positions and the days are fast paced. I have found myself utilizing my existing background and experiences while learning and absorbing new knowledge and information.”

Dorner highly values his Risk and Emergency Management staff, which he said “has been an incredible resource for my transition into this position. They are very knowledgeable and committed to providing excellent services. That has also been my experience with other departments and divisions throughout the Mohave County government.”

Dorner is married to his wife, Gretchen, and is father to three adults and grandparent to seven with an additional grandchild expected in May. A dog lover, he has a 16-year-old rescued lab/mastiff named Goodboy and a red nose pit bull named Stella. Family outings are critical, including hiking in the Hualapais. When he has the opportunity, fishing and golfing are part of the mix.

Dorner also sits as one of 13 members of the Board of Directions for Kingman Health Care, Incorporated (that’s known to the public as Kingman Regional Medical Center). He definitely keeps busy, whether on county time or not.

(This is one of a series of profiles about Mohave County employees by the county communications office.)

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