Stiles gets new certification in Emergency Management

Published 11:01 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dallas County Emergency Management Agency Director Toya Stiles recently added another certification to her resume.

Stiles received her Advance Level Certification in Emergency Management in June at the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers (AAEM) Conference in Birmingham. She was recognized at this week’s Dallas County Commission meeting.

To earn the certification, Stiles had to complete 1,000 hours of instruction in emergency management.

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Stiles is a Selma native and found success in the Queen City. She is a Southside High School graduate, received an associate’s degree at Wallace Community College Selma and a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College-Alabama.

“I like the fact that I learn something different everyday and the working relationship that I have with other agencies,” Stiles said.

A big part of Stiles’ job is to test the weather sirens the first Tuesday morning of every month to ensure they work properly.

“I will call 911 and let them know that I will test the sirens at 10 a.m.,” Stiles said. “Once I call them, I will go to the back and actually go on the system, press wail, hit all the sirens and set the sirens off.

“I also respond to any potential weather that we may have,” she said. “Testing sirens or setting sirens off when we are expecting bad weather.”

But there’s more to Stiles’ job.

“People think that EMA is just about dealing with weather,” Stiles said. “In actuality, it involves more than that. I respond to train derailments, 18-wheeler accidents, determining flood zones, planning exercises, drills, tabletops, trainings, speaking at public functions, opening and closing of storm shelters and much more.”

Stiles has advice for residents: if they can’t hear sirens in their respective areas, call the Dallas County DHS/EMA at (334)-874-2515.
“It is very important to test the sirens monthly to make sure there are no malfunctions and to make sure they are working properly,” Stiles said. “We have a lot of citizens in our communities that depend on the sirens during bad weather.”


This story was updated to correct where Stiles obtained her certificate. She obtained it from the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers (AAEM) not the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.