City & State’s Webinar series: Safety and Emergency Management with the Coronavirus Pandemic

Event Description

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent hundreds of ambulances, EMTs and paramedics to New York City in recent weeks to help assist amid the coronavirus pandemic.  What have our emergency management and public safety been doing to help New Yorkers who are sick, who are not sick, who feel unsafe and more.  How can we be better prepared if there is a next wave of COVID 19?

Deanne Criswell
Commissioner, New York City Emergency Management Department
Deanne Criswell was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department in 2019. She is responsible for oversight of the City’s efforts to plan and prepare for emergencies, educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response and recovery, and disseminate emergency information. As NYC Emergency Management Commissioner, Deanne has managed the City’s response to emergencies including extreme summer heat, power outages, and large fires. She has also coordinated the City’s readiness for planned events including the 2019 Ticker Tape Parade honoring the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Prior to joining NYC Emergency Management, Deanne served as the leader of one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Incident Management Assistance Teams (N-IMAT) and as a federal coordinating officer. In this role, Deanne was the primary Federal representative responsible for leading the agency’s response to and recovery from emergencies and major disasters, from severe flooding in North Dakota to hurricanes in South Carolina to fires in Colorado. She also served as the head of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Aurora, Colorado, where she led strategic change in the city’s emergency and disaster planning. During her tenure there, Deanne coordinated transitional housing and family reunification efforts in response to receiving 2000 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. As an executive in the homeland security sector of the Cadmus Group LLC, Deanne served as a principal for clients at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as the private sector, providing exceptional technical expertise and the experience necessary to help her clients achieve their critical missions. As a member of the Colorado Air National Guard, Deanne served 21 years as a firefighter and Deputy Fire Chief. In 2001, she deployed to Kuwait to serve as a fire officer in crash fire rescue efforts, and in 2010, she deployed to Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq to advise senior leadership on fire protection requirements for new and existing military bases. Deanne is a graduate of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Education and Training and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver and a Master of Science in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
Council Member Donovan Richards
Chair, Public Safety Committee
Council Member Donovan Richards, a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens and the Rockaways, was elected to the New York City Council in March 2013. Richards chaired the Environmental Protection committee for two years and was the co-chair of the Mayor’s OneNYC plan, shepherding in the City’s 80 by 20 resiliency plan. Richards was appointed to chair the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises in the second half of his first term. He worked to negotiate and pass Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, two affordable housing plans that have captured thousands of affordable units. Richards worked to usher in neighborhood rezonings in East Midtown and East New York, and secured $288 million in investments for his own local rezoning in Far Rockaway. In January 2018, Richards started his second term by being named Chair of the Public Safety Committee. He has held oversight hearings on the NYPD’s crowd control and protest protocols, marijuana enforcement strategies, lack of resources in the Special Victims Division, gang enforcement measures, and school safety. He is also a member of the Council’s Leadership team and lead Council Member on the city’s Fresh program task force.
Laura Kavanagh
First Deputy Commissioner, FDNY
The First Deputy Commissioner, appointed by the Fire Commissioner, is the second highest ranking civilian administrator in the Department, charged with managing the day-to-day operations and activities of the FDNY across all offices and bureaus. Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh was appointed in January, 2018. First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh’s first joined the Department senior staff in 2014 as Assistant Commissioner of External Affairs where she built strong relationships with other government agencies, elected officials, and community organizations to secure necessary funding for the Department; pass important legislation protecting first responders; and organized citywide programming such as the “Get Alarmed NYC” campaign, which has, to date, installed and distributed more than 150,000 smoke alarms in homes throughout the city. In 2016, she was promoted to Deputy Commissioner for Government Affairs and Special Projects where she managed the Bureau of Technology and Development Services (BTDS); the Bureau of Communications (BOC) for fire and EMS dispatch operations; Intergovernmental Affairs; Community Affairs; Recruitment; and the Family Assistance Unit, overseeing critical care and needs for the families of FDNY members killed in the line of duty, as well as those battling World Trade Center related illnesses. In addition to overseeing the recent firefighter recruitment campaign – which resulted in the largest and most diverse applicant pool in Department history – she has secured funding for renovations to firehouses and EMS stations across the five boroughs; overseen the implementation of Fire and EMS call taking operations at the City's newly constructed state-of-the-art emergency call taking center in the Bronx and the planning and implementation of technology upgrades at the current emergency call taking center in Brooklyn; the development of an in-house customized computer aided dispatch system; and the development of mobile applications that support Fire and EMS operations. Before joining the Department, Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh served as a special assistant to Mayor Bill de Blasio after acting as Senior Advisor on his Mayoral campaign. Prior to that, she was a deputy director in Pennsylvania on President Obama’s reelection campaign. Previously, she worked in management and campaign consulting with non-profits, community-based organizations and unions to advance their organizational goals. First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh is a graduate of Whittier College, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband.
Tiffany Chapman
Metropolitan College of New York
Tiffany Chapman is from Southern California where she earned bachelors’ degrees in psychology and criminal justice. She enjoyed a decade-long, award-winning career in retail bank management while also serving on boards of various non-profit organizations and spent much of her time volunteering for the arts. Since moving to New York City in 2012, Ms. Chapman has earned her MPA from Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), specializing in emergency and disaster management. She now works for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management as the Manager of Mitigation where she oversees the Agency’s natural hazard mitigation and disaster recovery programs. Ms. Chapman is the first woman in her office to hold a management position. In addition to her OEM duties, Ms. Chapman teaches at her graduate alma mater for both the traditional and online graduate emergency management programs. She has lectured internationally at both universities and conferences and has worked in emergency operation centers for major events in New York City metropolitan region, including the Super Bowl, multiple NYC Marathons, the 2015 Papal visit, and various other severe storms and emergencies. Most recently, Ms. Chapman authored the Port Authority’s inaugural Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.
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