Robert Greenlaw got up early in his Idaho home Thursday morning to go online and watch as three men determined where he could live for the rest of his life.

Robert Greenlaw got up early in his Idaho home Thursday morning to go online and watch as three men determined where he could live for the rest of his life.

Greenlaw said he breathed a sigh of relief when he heard the votes from the Delaware County commissioners, through their live meeting broadcast on the Internet, naming him the new county 911 emergency services director.

He was also the unanimous choice of three panels -- first-responders, administrators and dispatchers -- who interviewed the six finalists for the job last week, said Tom Homan, Delaware city manager and chairman of the advisory board that is overseeing the consolidation of the city's and county's 911 services.

Hiring the director is "an important milestone" in the consolidation process, he said.

Greenlaw brings with him considerable experience in consolidation of emergency services and was "exactly the type of candidate we were looking for," Homan told the commissioners.

In one instance, he stepped into "difficult circumstances" when he completed a consolidation of two county emergency service divisions, a process that had been going on for 12 years, in just three months, said Bruce Pijanowski, interim 911 director. He also consolidated the emergency services of 17 municipalities that people described "as nothing short of a miracle," Pijanowski told the commissioners.

Greenlaw will assume his new position on Aug. 17. His annual contract is for $85,130.94, but that figure will be reduced during the first year by the cost of his moving expenses that the county will pay upfront, said Lisa Iannotta, director of the administrative services division.

"The county doesn't pay for moving expenses, so Mr. Greenlaw agreed to a decrease in his first year's salary that will be equal to his moving expenses," she said.

Greenlaw has 40 years' experience in all aspects of public safety, as a volunteer and a professional, and 25 years in the private sector.

That experience was evident during the interviews, said Genoa Township fire chief Gary Honeycutt.

"He had an answer for everything and it was the right answer," the chief said.

Most recently, he was the interim director of Blaine County emergency communications in Hadley, Idaho, under a consulting contract. He oversaw the consolidation of police, sheriff, fire and EMS communications for all municipalities in the county, and helped design and equip a new communications center.

Prior to that, he was executive director of Northwest Bergen Central Dispatch, which is owned by 17 municipalities in New Jersey. There he helped organize and build a consolidated communications center. He retired in 2006 and formed his consulting company.

Greenlaw said he has been looking for a job for the past five months after his last consulting contract ended.

"It had to be the right job because I'm not into moving," he said. "I intend to stay here the rest of my life."

Before moving to Idaho, he called New Jersey home. This position gets him close enough to the East Coast, he said, and closer to his and his wife's children who live in the Midwest. It also puts him closer to shopping areas, instead of the 75 miles he must now travel to reach the nearest Home Depot.

What impressed him about the job was the process the board used to interview the candidates that included people from all areas of county emergency services.

"A lot of times, administrators don't place enough importance on the role of those people from the 911 (call) center," he said. "This showed they consider them an important party to this agreement."

He was also impressed with the willingness of those he met during his interview to help him and his wife get acclimated to the area. As they looked at houses last Saturday his cell phone kept ringing with offers of personalized tours of the area.

The first thing he plans to do is meet with the staff so he can get to know them and "they can get to know me and how I think," Greenlaw said. Although he already has a sense that morale is good, he said, he wants to make sure it is as good as it can be and that the 911 division is a place where people want to work.

While the 911 advisory board will continue to work toward consolidation, members will wait for Greenlaw to assume his position before developing a timeline for its conclusion, Homan said.