Grand names former Summit undersheriff as emergency management director
Grand County has selected Joel Cochran as its new director of emergency management.
Cochran comes to Grand with over 40 years in government service, according to a release from the county, many of them spent directly in emergency management as well as a strong background in law enforcement. His first day was Wednesday.
“Cochran joins Grand County at a critical time,” officials said in a release. “He will play an integral role in recovery efforts following the East Troublesome and William Fork Fires that have devastated the community. He will also help lead response and recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cochran will have a salary of $78,847. He reports directly to Grand County Manager Kate McIntire and oversees Deputy Emergency Manager Alexis Kimbrough. He replaces Kat Conrad, who left the position Sept. 25 after just under a year in the job.
Cochran has served as the undersheriff for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for the past four years, overseeing all divisions including emergency management. Prior to that, Cochran spent nine years as the emergency management director for Summit.
Cochran also has experience as the Northwest Regional Field Manager for the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and seven years as the special operations sergeant and hazardous materials team coordinator for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Cochran comes with extensive certifications related to emergency management and was named the Northwest Region Emergency Manager of the Year in 2011. He is also the past chairman of the Northwest Region Homeland Security Executive Board, former vice president of the Colorado Association of Emergency Managers and a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.