Meet the Command Staff

  1. Jonathan Cook
    EMS Chief
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    Chief Jonathan Cook, Caldwell County Emergency Services - EMS Division - is a North Carolina certified Paramedic and Critical Care certified who has been with Caldwell County EMS since 2009. He graduated from the UNC of Charlotte EMS Management Institute in 2018. Chief Cook has held all field-level officer positions prior to being promoted to Chief of Division in 2020. Chief Cook is constantly striving to find ways for the agency to be progressive in prehospital medicine while encouraging a hands on approach. 

  2. Kevin Brown
    Fire Marshal / Fire Division Chief
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    A Caldwell County native, Fire Marshal Brown has over 10 years of service with Caldwell County Emergency Services, and many years in the fire service. Chief Brown has held the positions of Fire Investigator/Inspector, Deputy Fire Marshal, and now Fire Marshal within the Division. Holding certifications as Level II Firefighter, Level III Inspector, Certified Fire Investigator, Certified Rescue Technician and Nationally Registered EMT-Basic, as well as an Associates Degree in Emergency Preparedness, Chief Brown brings a multitude of experience and knowledge to the Department and oversees a division of 3 inspector / investigators.

  3. Vic Misenheimer
    Emergency Management Division Chief
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    Captain Misenheimer comes to Caldwell County Emergency Services following a career in law enforcement, serving in the North Carolina Highway Patrol where he functioned in numerous capacities, including the motorcycle unit and rising through the ranks to Lieutenant before retiring. Following his retirement, Vic continued his service in law enforcement with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office as a patrol officer, and continues to serve in the reserve capacity.

    Joining our agency in 2017, Vic continues his career tenure in public safety functioning as an emergency manager, fire inspector/investigator, and as an active emergency medical technician (EMT)-Basic. Prior volunteer fire and rescue service include tenure at Iredell Rescue Squad, Lovelady Fire - Rescue, and most recently Sawmills Fire Rescue, where he held the rank of Assistant Chief before transitioning back to an active firefighter. Holding certifications in all realms of public safety, Vic finds a passion for the outdoors and combines that with his rescue knowledge through instructing in the Mountain and Alpine SAR capacity, as well as with open and swiftwater rescue.

  4. Jason Pennell

    911 Communications Division Chief / TAC

    Chief Pennell, a 1998 graduate of West Caldwell High School and lifelong resident of Caldwell County, began his career in 9-1-1 communications in 1999. Serving as a telecommunicator at both Caldwell County and Catawba County Communications, Pennell also served as a shift supervisor for our division prior to his promotion to director. His volunteer service includes time as a firefighter in Gamewell Fire Department from 1998 until 2015. Outside of his professional life, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and traveling.

  5. Garrett Snyder

    Medical Director

    Dr. Garrett Snyder, DO, NRP - Mountain Emergency Medicine - is a board-certified emergency EMS physician in Lenoir, North Carolina at UNC-Healthcare Caldwell. Dr. Snyder's undergraduate training is in emergency health services, having attended one of the nation’s oldest baccalaureate paramedic programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Snyder began his professional EMS career in Frederick County, Maryland before returning as the operations director for his hometown EMS service, and has served in nearly every role, from line paramedic to field supervisor. His fellowship heavily involved independent emergency response and his training at Prisma Health/USC centered on preparing medical directors to be capable of deploying to the field and providing specialty care in complex and austere settings. This includes specialized knowledge in field, tactical, and aeromedical EMS. Dr. Snyder has taken an active role in the deployment of additional resources and procedures within our EMS Division and System Plan.   

  6. Diana C. McClinton

    Deputy Medical Director

    Dr. Diana C. McClinton, MD - Mountain Emergency Medicine - is a board-certified emergency medicine physician in Lenoir, North Carolina at UNC-Healthcare Caldwell. Dr. McClinton graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1995, specializing in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. Practicing medicine for over 20 years, Dr. McClinton also serves as Caldwell County EMS' Medical Director. During her tenure as Medical Director, Dr. McClinton has been instrumental in guiding our agency towards becoming the premier EMS agency in the area. She has rolled out advancements in training, implemented increased access to specialized instruction, and facilitated access to live intubations for ALS staff in the medical facility, is currently implementing a CODE Sepsis Program for our area in addition to developing department Special Operations Protocols and Advanced Practice Paramedic Protocols. Dr. McClinton is a vital part of our EMS Agency and stays very active both behind the scenes and on the front lines.

  7. Chip Hughes

    Safety Officer

    Captain Hughes comes to Caldwell County Emergency Services following a career in law enforcement, most recently serving in the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations - Clandestine Lab Division. Captain Hughes had prior service with the City of Hickory Police Department before transitioning to the NCSBI. Joining our agency in 2018, Chip continues his tenure in public safety functioning as the Departmental, and County, Safety Officer; since accepting his assignment, Capt. Hughes has engaged County departments and organizations, improved safety and prevention programs within County Government and continually worked to obtain credentials and knowledge to better fulfill the job duties required of his position. Chip has a passion for the outdoors, hunting and traveling and enjoys spending time with his family outside of work.