Roonie Dooley wears a lot of hats. And he is now taking one off.
Dooley, assistant supervisor at the Campbellsville/Taylor County E-911 Center, will retire from his position at the end of the month after nearly 40 years on the job.
In addition to the E-911 post, Dooley serves as a chaplain for Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Campbellsville Police Department and Campbellsville Fire & Rescue. He is also the public information coordinator for Taylor County Emergency Management. He will keep those posts.
In an email to several community members last Thursday, Dooley wrote, “After 34 years of taking emergency calls and handling emergency situations, I feel like the Lord is leading me in another direction.
Just not sure what it is yet.”
On Friday, Dooley said he has been considering retirement for about a year. He said some staff changes will soon take place at E-911 and he believes this time is the right to step aside.
“I really feel like the Lord is leading me in this direction,” he said. “I think of this as the Lord helping me to move on.”
Dooley said he started working at the E-911 center on Aug. 1, 1974. He says the center was his first - and only - full-time job after graduating from high school.
“I enjoy helping people,” he said.
Dooley, known in the community as “The Voice of Taylor County,” said he is at peace with his decision to retire and has enjoyed his job.
Dooley’s voice has been heard by Taylor Countians while announcing severe weather, at homes through the severe weather alert system and through Comcast Cable.
His last official day on the job is Friday, Aug. 31. He last worked, however, on Thursday, July 26, and is currently on vacation.
Dooley said he isn’t sure yet what he will do in his retirement.
Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young said Dooley cares for the Taylor County community and puts his heart and soul into his work.
“I can’t say enough about Ronnie Dooley and how much he’s helped not just the city but the whole community,” Young said. “We hate to lose him. It’s gonna be a big hole we have to fill.” Young said there are vacancies at the E-911 center and interviews have already been conducted to fill those and Dooley’s positions.
The center was in need of another employee, Young said, and one left to join Campbellsville/Taylor County EMS and another to become an EMT at another location. In all, Young said, four new people will soon come on board at the center.
A story about Dooley’s experiences at the E-911 center will be published in the Thursday, Aug. 30, issue.
Young said 11 candidates were interviewed last Tuesday for the fire chief position at Campbellsville Fire & Rescue. Some were internal applicants, he said.
Allen “A.J.” Johnson, who has been chief for 18 years, announced last month that he will retire.
Young said a second round of six interviews for Johnson’s replacement could be this week or the next.
There could be a final round of interviews before Young presents a candidate to the Campbellsville City Council for hiring. He said a new chief could be in place the first or second week of September. A special Council meeting could be called for the hiring.
A luncheon retirement reception for Dooley and Johnson is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 28, at noon at Campbellsville/Taylor County EMS. City employees and family members are invited to attend.