WALHALLA - For nine years, Scott Krein served as a paramedic in Greenville County Emergency Medical Services.
Following a stint in the U.S. Marines, he began preparing for a career in emergency management. He earned an associate degree in emergency medical technology and became a senior ski patrolman at the Cataloochee Ski Resort near Maggie Valley, N.C.
This week, he was named Oconee County emergency management director.
"He is very well-experienced and knowledgeable and has already demonstrated his abilities for our county," said county administrator Scott Moulder.
Krein was hired in 2007 as deputy director for emergency management in Oconee Country under then-director Rodney Burdette. Krein became one of the interim directors of the emergency management operations when Burdette was fired in October 2010.
Last year, Krein completed certification as an emergency manager through the South Carolina Emergency Management Association.
Krein, 42, was selected from a field of 75 applicants.
Three staff members, two rescue coordinators and nine rescue chiefs as well as a number of rescue squad volunteers are under his leadership.
The swift water and diving units - which are called in to aid in search and or recovery in the Chattooga River and as well as Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee lakes - are also under his direction.
"My goal is to better prepare rescuers and the county itself for disaster," Krein said. "Citizen education is a key ingredient in that, and I want to promote understanding and knowledge of emergency management to our residents."
He also hopes to obtain grants for training and equipment.
"Those are two key elements we need to keep as a priority," he said.