Hillsborough's Emergency Management team brings years of service to prepare and protect residents

When you see the dedicated professionals of Hillsborough County's Office of Emergency Management, you are immediately struck by their commitment to preparedness, tactical precision, and flexibility under pressure.

For three men in Hillsborough's OEM, all of these skills and more were cultivated in a military career first, and then brought to bear for the public good locally.

"The military equips individuals with valuable skills in logistics, training, and process management, all of which are crucial in efficiently coordinating and responding to emergency situations," said Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley Jr., a retired U.S. Army sergeant major.

Just as military experience prepares many for a career in firefighting, the Emergency Management office also finds itself a home for military veterans looking to use their skills to continue serving the community.

"Military experience provides a solid foundation for success in emergency management because it ingrains a deep commitment to service, both to the community and the country," said OEM Planning Chief C.K. Moore, a retired Coast Guard commander.

"Additionally, the military's emphasis on following orders and the importance of understanding, utilizing, and respecting the chain of command ensured that decisions were made swiftly and effectively during all hazards and crises," he said.

For Logistics Section Chief George Stewart, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant, military service prepares emergency management workers uniquely for the job because of leadership training and structure. "Military members understand the value of leadership and how it helps unify groups due to the hierarchical structure of the military," said Stewart.

"Service Members (have a) unique communication adaptability in the face of adversity, flexibility problem solving, and strategic leadership skills Integrity," he said.

For all three men, preparedness is part of their makeup, and just like in fire rescue, failure is not an option.

"The U.S. Coast Guard instilled its 'Always Ready/Always Prepared' ethos in my DNA for more than 27 years as a career incident/emergency management professional, and I truly believe that is why many of us are drawn to it as an opportunity to continue serving after our time in the military," Moore said.

For Stewart: "[Veterans] have that "can-do" mentality, often because failure is simply not an option when talking about the obstacles they must face every day."

Photo Information: Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley Jr. and Logistics Chief George Stewart both served in the U.S. Armed Services before coming to Emergency Management.
Posted: 11/9/2023, 4:18:07 PM