After a rigorous, nationwide search yielding many highly qualified candidates, Buncombe County is proud to announce that Van Taylor Jones will be our next Director of Emergency Services effective Jan. 21. Jones joins us from Anderson County, South Carolina, where he served as Emergency Services Director for almost 12 years. His more than 30 years of professional and volunteer experience covers a broad range of topics from disaster preparedness to fire services. Jones’ cumulative knowledge also includes managing an annual budget of $10 million making his combination of administrative acumen and practical skills a true asset for Buncombe County’s Emergency Services Department.
“Through a thorough assessment process that included participants from Emergency Services, the Sheriff’s Office, County management, Henderson County Emergency Services, and Buncombe County fire chiefs, Van demonstrated excellent leadership, management, problem solving, and collaboration skills. I am excited to welcome him to the team,” says County Manager Avril Pinder.
Jones is also a Registered Nurse and says he’s always heard the mountains calling. “Over the years, I have visited Buncombe County countless times and have thoroughly enjoyed the beauty, recreational opportunities, vibrancy, and friendliness of the people in this growing community,” says Jones. “As a person that has always felt at home in the mountains, this for me was the fulfillment of a life-long dream.”
Jones says his immediate priority is becoming familiar with the organization while immersing himself in the community. “In addition, I will be working to get up to speed on the unique needs of Buncombe County in relation to maintaining and improving our level of service to citizens,” he says. “In the long term, the task becomes ensuring our ongoing efforts and training are truly meeting ever-changing needs. As a region grows, the threats and challenges often change. It becomes vital to be one step ahead of those changes.”
To learn more about Buncombe County’s Emergency Services, the resources it provides, and to read about employees and accolades, visit its website here.
Van Taylor Jones’ professional bio
Born and raised in Oconee County, SC, Van Taylor Jones has been a resident of Upstate South Carolina his entire life. In his teens, he was attracted to firefighting and EMS and worked for several increasingly larger EMS and fire agencies early in his career. In 1988, Jones completed his studies at Greenville Technical College and became a paramedic. He continued in that field for a number of years while attending the Mary Black School of Nursing of the University of South Carolina, graduating and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1998.
Jones has been both the Assistant Director of Emergency Management and then for a decade the Director of Emergency Management for Anderson County, South Carolina. Over the past 35 years, he has continued his education and training on a consistent basis, at both the state and federal level.
Jones notes that over time, the needs of the Upstate region changed with growth and the importance of comprehensive emergency management and planning became paramount. He says he has been fortunate to be a part of this evolving field and a part of developing many of the best practices used around the world in the emergency service industry today.