MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF
You will hear me say that change is challenging. Change is difficult. But change is going to bring improvements. This is a message you will continue to hear from me. Over the past year, you have seen a number of changes at TDEM and I hope these changes will be for the better.
We have launched a new Web site which has a new look. But beyond the looks, we are hoping this provides you a more effective Internet resource. This resource should be easier for you to navigate in order to find the information you need as rapidly as possible. The goal is simplicity and efficiency.
As some of you know already, we are in the process of revamping and enhancing our command staff. You are already seeing a new structure, new functions, and, in addition to the fine staff members who have worked with you in the past – new faces.
Structurally, TDEM is now organized under two Deputy Assistant Directors, Shari Ramirez-McKay for Recovery and Funds Management, and Tom Polonis for Response. Read more about both of these TDEM staff members here.
Many of you are familiar with four of our State Coordinators:
In addition, we now have State Coordinators for our seven regions. They are:
These State Coordinators oversee our fine team of District Coordinators, formerly our corps of Regional Liaison Officers (RLOs). All will be working as a team to provide top notch support to local jurisdictions and officials as they step up to the plate when disaster strikes.
An especially welcome addition to our Operations Section is Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Major Patrick Mulligan. The major will serve as Operations Section Chief for emergencies and disasters, ensuring seamless coordination as TDEM and DPS work side by side in the State Operations Center – as was done for Tropical Storm Don at the end of July.
You may be familiar with the many steps that we are taking to improve planning and to streamline TDEM’s funding, finance and auditing processes, subjects I will be discussing in future issues of Texas Emergency Management Online.
Meanwhile, for those of you who may be reporting to the SOC while we are involved in wildfire recovery operations, ongoing wildfire response, hurricane response and whatever else may come our way, you’ll see physical and organizational changes as well.
I would ask for two things from the emergency management community this summer. First, I ask your patience until these particular changes are complete, and – most importantly – feedback on how we’re doing and suggestions on how to make it better for us all. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®