Lifelong Tooele County resident Bucky Whitehouse has worked at the Tooele County Health Department (TCHD) for the last five years, but recently his role in the agency changed. Instead of spending his days as a health education coordinator tutoring local residents how to better take care of themselves, Whitehouse will now be an emergency response corrdinator/ public information officer.
While some of his old activities will overlap with his new, Whitehouse will focus more on emergency planning and disease surveillance than prevention programs for things like tobacco and heart disease. He will also manage the public information that is released from the department.
The position was held by Rich Lakin, who served as a public information officer and a bioterrorism planner, but he left the position for a job at the Utah Department of Health’s epidimiolgy division.
Wanting to expand on Lakin’s position, the TCHD decided to not only have the new person focus on bio-terrorism, but all types of hazards — thus the new position title of “emergency response corrdinator.”
“We really look forward to having Bucky serve in this position,” said TCHD’s Director of Envrionmental Health Jeff Coombs.
Noting Whithouse’s service on the Tooele City Fire Department and county hazardous materials response team as well as his health education knowledge Coombs said, “His skills and abilities are a really good match.”
One of the things Whitehouse looks forward to doing is educating others what “the health department role is on a dayto- day basis in non-emergency situations as well as what it can do in an emergency.”
In addition to his roles at the health department, Whitehouse runs a health consulting business, works as an adjunct faculity member of Utah State University and is a member of the Tooele Arts Festival organizing committee.
Whitehouse and his wife Leslee are the parents of Rylee, age 8, and Seth, age 4.