NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Guthrie resident is there for his community in disasters and on good days

David Ball Photo Provided - Photo Provided
David Ball Photo Provided - Photo Provided

— Nothing was scheduled.

David Ball, 42, of Guthrie, said neighbors just knew that of an evening they’d gather on a particular porch to visit about the day’s events.

Ball, emergency management director for Logan County and the city of Guthrie, was born in Guthrie and “I’ve been here ever since.”

He strongly values being a part of a community and traces that to his childhood in Guthrie.

“We knew all of our neighbors in the area and they knew us,” he said. “One of the ladies that lived across the street in the middle of the block had a large front porch. That was the place everyone in the neighborhood went to visit every evening during the summer months. Everyone watched out for each other.”

Some days, Ball’s father, Robert, would cook on their backyard grill and his mother, Pat, would make a plate for a woman who lived just west of the Ball family. David also watched as his parents would help out at their church.

He learned that if there was a need, personal schedules were pushed aside, such as during a certain flood in the early 1980s.

“We were out of school and my mom had received a phone call that the Red Cross shelter located at Banner School was in need of some more help,” Ball said.

“My mom, brother Stephen and I spent most of the day working at the shelter.”

On the job

Ball, the county and city emergency management director since spring 2008, monitors weather year-round and helps coordinate response efforts as needed. He works with fire departments in Logan County in events such as wildfires or floods.

Ball keeps the county emergency operations plan updated and ensures the hazard mitigation plan is current. He is also the floodplain administrator for Logan County.

“When things get crazy, I am only one small piece of the puzzle,” Ball said. “You have to have all the pieces working together to complete the puzzle.”

Ball works with those such as the Guthrie fire chief, Eric Harlow.

Harlow said Ball is “one of the biggest assets to the fire departments here in Logan County.”

“He never hesitates to drop what he’s doing to come assist us with an incident,” Harlow said. “I've spent several trips with David when our wildland firefighting task force has been deployed all over the state.

“Several of these trips have lasted overnight and into the following day. This is time David has taken away from his family and personal life. We honestly cannot do it without him. He’s truly invaluable to our county.”

Getting involved

Beyond the job, Ball enjoys his family and community involvement. David and wife, Ellie, have a daughter, Lindsey, 14, and son, Waylon, 10. The family attends First Christian Church. Ball’s church involvement includes serving as an elder and he is on the property committee.

He’s helped with softball and baseball teams his children played on and has assisted as a church camp counselor in recent years.

Also, Ball is a member of the Guthrie Noon Lions Club and is on the board for the United Way of Logan County.

“When we are born, God gives us all our own talents and sometimes we have to broaden our horizons to see what those really are,” Ball said. “By volunteering, you might find something that you are really good at that otherwise you may have never thought about.”

Bryan Painter

Read more ›