State Representative Carson Smith will return to his former post as Pender County Emergency Manager as an interim director, effective March 26.

“Carson will be the stabilizing force to lead Emergency Management through this pandemic,” George Brown, chairman of the Pender County Board of Commissioners, said. “Our Emergency Management and Public Health both have vital leadership roles as they work together to help guide our county through this event.”

Carson attended Topsail schools where he began working in many different aspects of public safety including Pender East EMS, Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department, and Scott’s Hill Fire Department. Following his college education and training as a North Carolina Highway Patrolman, Smith returned to Pender County in the 90s to take the position of Emergency Management Coordinator. Shortly after taking the job, Pender County began facing many challenges created from the unusually high hurricane activity we saw in the mid and late 90’s.  There were five Presidential Disaster Declarations due to hurricanes during his time as Coordinator including: Bertha ’96, Fran ’96, Bonnie ’98, Dennis ’99, and Floyd ’99. Smith served as Emergency Manager until he was elected sheriff in Pender County in 2002. He served as Pender County Sheriff for 16 years before running for office as a NC State Representative.

Smith will oversee the day-to-day operations of the emergency operations center as the interim director. He will replace Charles Tear, who resigned, effective March 24.