Woodbury County emergency services director to retire after 41 years | Government and Politics | #retirement | #elderly | #seniors
SIOUX CITY — Gary Brown, director of emergency services for Woodbury County who won widespread praise for leading his department during its response to the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in 1989, is retiring.
Brown announced his retirement during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. His last day will be July 6.
He said he started as a volunteer in 1980, was hired as an operations officer in 1982 and became director in 1987.
“Forty-one years is enough,” he said. “It’s been an amazing journey.”
In his retirement letter, Brown thanked the staff for their commitment and dedication, and the citizens of Woodbury County for their trust and support.
Gary Brown had been the Woodbury County Disaster and Emergency Services director for two years in July 1980 when he was alerted that a crippled DC-10 jet was headed to Sioux City for an emergency landing.
As information about the plane’s condition and potential for large-scale disaster was relayed to responders, Brown said, requests for aid went out to the area. The response was immediate. Ambulances from communities small and large raced toward Sioux City. Hospitals began calling in extra shifts.
United Airlines Flight 232 crash-landed at Sioux Gateway Airport, tumbling down the runway in flames and smoke. Of the 296 people aboard, 184 people survived, thanks largely to the heroic efforts of the emergency responders.