The City of Columbus has a new Emergency Management Director. And he will be a familiar face to many people in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Chance Corbett will step into the role of Columbus’s Emergency Management Director beginning January 4. He has worked nearly three decades in various public safety and emergency management roles in Russell County and most recently, Auburn University.

Corbett, 48, has three decades of public safety experience. He replaces Riley Land, who recently retired.

“The learning curve will be a lot less steep in the sense that I know where a lot of places are in Columbus,” Corbett said. “Working with the people over here, I know a lot of the people over here and I look forward to the opportunity.”

Corbett was Russell County Emergency Management director from 2001-2007, prior to that he was a Russell County deputy sheriff for 10 years. He has been at Auburn University for the last 13 years, building the emergency management department there.

The new Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief, Sal Scarpa, made the hire.

“He has a lot of established relationships with people that emergency management would typically deal with, department of health, our hospitals, social services,” Scarpa said. “He already has a relationship with many of those people in Columbus and the surrounding region.  So, that will allow him to hit the ground running in our organization. And we are just excited to bring him onboard.”

Corbett is banking on the fact that his experience and reputation will help in the new job.

“I would hope that I have got a good reputation for not only public service, but in the community, as well. I hope that will lend value to the transition coming over,” Corbett said.

Corbett lives in Crawford and is currently the chairman of the Russell County Commission. He could not hold elected office in Columbus but it is not an issue outside of Muscogee County.

Corbett retires from Auburn University at the end of this month.