As a former Madison County High School (MCHS) Cowgirl and North Florida Community College (NFCC) Lady Sentinel softball player, Leigh Basford knows first-hand the importance of teamwork. That is just one of many attributes she brings to her new role as the Director of Emergency Management for Madison County. Basford takes over for Alan Whigham, who recently resigned from the department.
When the job became open, Basford seemed like a perfect fit for the position, having served in the department for nearly 10 years, most recently as the Deputy Director. "It's been exciting, being part of a program that has developed into what it is today," said Basford. Basford, a 1999 graduate of MCHS attended NFCC on a softball scholarship before continuing her education at Valdosta State University, earning her B.S. in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Social Work. After completing her education, Basford worked in Valdosta for the Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). After coming back to Madison and working for Citizen's Community Bank, Basford began work with the Department of Emergency Management.
Basford states that being familiar with the county and having established local relationships proved to be invaluable when she began working with the Emergency Management office. "[One of] our job[s] is to help coordinate resources to assist our partner agencies during a disaster," added Basford. "We also work with law enforcement, fire, EMS and health partners to help them better assist the county through training and exercise. Emergency Management is very much a team effort and we appreciate all of our county partners that work together in the Emergency Operations Center during a disaster. I am also thankful for the Board of County Commissioners' support of the program over the last 10 years and I'm looking forward to helping Emergency Management grow even more."
Basford is married to Brian Basford, a firefighter for the City of Madison. She has two children, Ty, age 12, and Avery, age seven.