Making local history

February may be Black History Month, but Randy Mahone is making history himself. Mahone is the first black man to work with the Crenshaw County EMA and he is also the first to be deputy director.

The first thing that stands out about Mahone is not the color of his skin, but the huge smile on his face. Mahone is a people person and the love that he has for serving the public is evident in his demeanor.

“I just like helping people,” he said. “No matter how big or how little it is, that is my favorite part.”

He started working with Crenshaw County EMA in May of 2019. Previously, he worked in the medical field, spending 11 years working in mental health.

EMA director Elliot Jones said Mahone was the only applicant to already have his FEMA certifications in hand when he applied for the job.

“Randy had his FEMA certifications and vital organizational skills that were needed in the EMA office. He has a unique set of public relations skills that are critical to the EMA job,” Jones said.

Jones further explained laughing that Mahone’s dancing ability is top notch and he would have hired him for his “Carlton” dance alone.

Mahone not only keeps the office organized and the director on track, he also registers new users for the Code Red system, coordinates exercise training, strategic planning for emergency response and can be found every Monday, without fail, testing the disaster recovery generator.

Mahone grew up in the area and graduated from Goshen High School. He received his Associates of Science degree from LBW.

Since being with the Crenshaw County EMA, Mahone has worked tirelessly to learn as much as he can.

“Randy has finished, through the FEMA institute, all requirements, which is over 40 courses, to become a state certified local manager,” Jones said. “That is huge.”

Commissioner Merrill Sport and Randy Mahone

This certification means that the county will not lose certain subsidies if he were needed to take over the role as director.

Mahone said the he is glad to be a black man in the job he is.

“I feel it gives other African Americans confidence to step outside of their box and try other things. When I first got here, I didn’t think I could do it. I was so use to just one thing and never behind a desk or having the responsibility that we have here,” Mahone said.

He encourages others to never doubt themselves.

“I think that we were programmed to an extent back then to a certain limit of how we should live. It is getting better. Today we are presidents, lawyers, stuff like that. The opportunities are there now, black, green yellow, whatever,” Mahone said.

His skill set is not only for public relations, Mahone also is a talented artist. He revealed that he wanted to become an artist when he was younger and still actively draws when the urge hits him.

Sample of Randy Mahone’s art

Mahone is married to Diana Mahone and they have a 19-year-old son who is in the National Guard.