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Cress named Rowan County Emergency Services chief

Allen Cress has been selected to be the Rowan County Chief of Emergency Services, Rowan County government announced Friday.

Cress, who starts his new role immediately, has 38 years’ experience in public safety. He has served 26 years as a full-time Rowan County employee, with the last five years serving as the 911 chief.

“I look forward to continuing my relationship with the entire public safety community of Rowan County, and I am very honored to have the opportunity to serve as the chief of Emergency Services,” Cress said.

During Cress’ tenure in telecommunications, he helped transform the Rowan County 911 center into one of the most technologically advanced and state of the art centers in the state, a news release said. As the interim chief of Emergency Services, Cress led the creation and implementation of the COVID-19 Community Paramedic Program.

“Chief Cress is a solid and respected leader in the community with an impeccable record. I am confident that he will continue to serve the community in an exemplary manner,” County Manager Aaron Church said.

Cress began his public service in 1982 while still attending East Rowan High School, joining the Rockwell Rural Fire Department as a volunteer. He served as the fire chief for Rockwell for 20 years and currently serves on the board of directors, actively responding to calls as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.  He is nationally certified as an emergency number professional). Cress holds other certifications related to public safety and the 911 industry.

Cress was honored by the Rowan County Fire and Rescue Association for Service and Dedication in 1998. He was honored by the North Carolina Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials in 2008 with the NC Line Supervisor of the Year Award and in 2017 with the Communications Center Leader of the Year. In 2016, Cress earned a certificate in county administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cress served on the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees Technical Advisory Committee from 2015 to 2019 and is currently the vice president of the North Carolina chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.

Cress is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Keller Memorial Masonic Lodge, the Oasis Shriners and the Rowan County Shrine Club. He is married to Bonnie Cress and they have three grown children and 6 grandchildren.

As Rowan 911 Communications director, Cress’ salary was $75,370. His salary as Emergency Services chief will be $86,502.

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