Haslam Announces Retirement Of TEMA Director Jim Bassham

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday announced the retirement of Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Director Jim Bassham effective April 7. 

Mr. Bassham led TEMA through the response to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav; devastating tornadoes that ripped through Tennessee in 2006 and 2008; the Nashville floods in 2010; tornadoes through the Southeastern part of the state in 2011; and the flooding of the Mississippi River in West Tennessee in May 2011.

“Tennessee is grateful to Jim for his service through some of our state’s toughest times dealing with severe weather,” Governor Haslam said. “Under Jim’s leadership, TEMA has become a national model for emergency management.”

The TEMA director is charged with the responsibility for ensuring that state and local governments are prepared to deal with disasters and emergencies that affect Tennesseans. In addition, the director has the responsibility to help prepare citizens to deal with emergencies and the aftermath.

Before taking the helm at TEMA in July 2003, Mr. Bassham served as the assistant adjutant general-air for the Tennessee National Guard from 1995 until 2002.

“Jim Bassham took TEMA to a new level in emergency preparedness and has worked tirelessly to improve services provided to the citizens of Tennessee,” Maj. Gen. Max Haston, the adjutant general and commissioner of the Military Department, said. “He established the standards by which others are measured."

Governor Haslam also announced that Department of Safety and Homeland Security Assistant Commissioner David Purkey would serve as the interim TEMA director through June 30. A permanent director will be named at a later date.

Mr. Purkey will continue serving as assistant commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security during his time as interim TEMA director. Before serving as assistant commissioner, Mr. Purkey served as director of the Emergency Management Agency for Hamblen County and as a Tennessee state trooper, an agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and mayor of Hamblen County.

“David brings a wealth of experience to his new task and understands the importance of cooperation between state and local governments,” Governor Haslam said.

“David has done an excellent job of retooling and changing the focus of homeland security efforts in order to have a greater impact on our state’s safety.  He is a top notch manager,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.


Keith Carter Was Man Shot In Knee On W. 38th Street; Still Won't Cooperate With Police

The man shot at 262 West 38 th St., on Monday afternoon was 22-year-old Keith Carter. He continues to be uncooperative with Investigators. Carter was shot in the knee. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he received treatment for the non-life threatening injury.    Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call ... (click for more)

Skillern Designates $100,000 Of Discretionary Funds For New Road To Daisy Elementary

County Commissioner Fred Skillern has designated $100,000 of his district discretionary funds for a new road to Daisy Elementary School. The road will be built from Sequoyah Road. The county schools will contribute $200,000 to the $300,000 project. Officials said Commissioner Skillern, who is leaving the commission at the end of this month after a long tenure on the school ... (click for more)

Thankful For Senators Alexander And Corker's Support Of The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Fleet - And Response (2)

America’s national security at home and abroad is important to all of us.  So it is very important to recognize and thank our leaders when they show strong support for our military. That’s why I am writing to thank Senators Alexander and Corker for their continued commitment to our great state, our nation, and especially to our military.  Their support ensures that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scottsboro’s Pat Trammell

I got a warm feeling Tuesday when it was announced Pat Trammell will be among those in the inaugural class of the Jackson County (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame. When the august group is enshrined at Scottsboro’s Goose Pond Civic Center on Nov. 1, most folks won’t even know who Pat Trammell was but I knew all about him in my very first year as a fledgling sports writer back in 1967 and, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club National Championship Match Can Be Viewed Via EPB Fiber Optics

EPB Fiber Optics is offering the community exclusive live broadcast coverage of the Chattanooga Football Club in its final battle for the National Premier Soccer League National Championship. The game between the Chattanooga FC and the New York Red Bulls-Under 23 squad is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 p.m. from the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Fi TV Bronze, Silver ... (click for more)

Stars Shutout Lookouts Tuesday, 2-0

Huntsville, AL-Huntsville native Jed Bradley did it all Tuesday night for the Huntsville Stars.  He pitched six shutout innings and also provided the only offense in a 2-0 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville. Recap Bradley, broke up the scoreless game in the fifth as he was locked up in a terrific pitcher's duel with Chattanooga lefty ... (click for more)