Our guest blogger is Captain Bonnie L. Regan, who is a thirty (30) year veteran of the Arlington County Police Department and has been assigned to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as the Deputy Director since 2004. She is responsible for daily operations of the office, to include managing the Emergency Operations Center during emergencies.
Captain Regan holds a Master’s of Arts in Homeland Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina.
I’ve been asked many times, what do emergency managers do? Are you in charge of emergencies? How do you manage an emergency? All good questions and until I was assigned to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), I asked the same questions. Now, having been assigned to OEM for 7 years, I have a much better understanding of OEM’s role.
I think the word “manage” connotes a supervisory role which is not exactly correct, at least in the realm of the Arlington County’s emergency management function. What we really do is coordinate the County’s response to an emergency, typically when multiple County Departments are involved in the response. Additionally, we provide support to the Incident Commander at the scene of the emergency. We are the “middle men” in emergency response. We provide the communication and information sharing link between those responding to the incident and the County executives.
This video helps explain what emergency managers do. We hope you find it informative and helpful. If you’d like more information about how OEM operates during and emergency please do not hesitate to contact us at 703-228-7935 or at OEM@arlingtonva.us