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News Release

February 1, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Steinhaus Appoints Dana Smith as New Emergency Response Coordinator

Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus is pleased to announce his selection of Dana Smith as Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator.  

County Executive Steinhaus said, “The coordination of emergency services is one of the most critical priorities of county government.   Dana Smith is a proven leader in emergency services, operating in critical roles in the development of our Medical Reserve Corps into a national model, storm emergency operations, and dealing with the critical issues of emergency medical services in our community.” 

Mr. Smith has been in public service with Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response since 2006.   Prior to county government, he worked for Mobile Life Support Services in Newburgh as Director of Field Operations where he planned, directed and coordinated all activities, including personnel management and budget development, of a nationally accredited Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agency for a three county area. 

Mr. Smith is a certified Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Paramedic.    He has taught as a National Disaster Life Support Advanced Instructor.     He has served as a volunteer firefighter for Marlboro Hose Company #1 for nineteen years, including leadership positions as Lieutenant and Captain.   He has also served as the volunteer Chairman for the Horizons Critical Incident Management Team.

When he came to Dutchess County Government, Mr. Smith began as the County’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Coordinator and in 2008, he was promoted to Assistant Coordinator - Emergency Medical Services. As Assistant County Coordinator, he was responsible for monitoring and developing plans to address issues and needed improvements to the EMS system within the County. He developed and instituted an EMS Leadership program where participants who have or wish to have career and volunteer leadership roles in EMS can learn about topics such as strategic planning, outcome modeling, leadership development and other pertinent EMS topics on a quarterly basis.   Mr. Smith completed and activated a Strategic National Stockpile Plan, used extensively for the delivery, storage and distribution of H1N1 vaccine during the 2009-2010 pandemic.

Mr. Smith also led the recent restructuring of the Dutchess County Mutual Aid Plan. The Mutual Aid Plan organizes, supervises and coordinates the reciprocal assistance of personnel, equipment and physical facilities among fire and other emergency agencies throughout the County of Dutchess and adjacent areas.   The newly revised plan incorporates prior changes and streamlines those changes into a more user friendly format for participating agencies.

In his role as the County’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Coordinator, Mr. Smith was responsible for coordinating and developing the MRC after Dutchess County assumed sponsorship from the Northern Metropolitan Health Care Foundation (NorMet).    The MRC is a team of volunteers who have been trained to assist existing medical response organizations and professionals to respond to a large-scale disaster of any kind.  As MRC Coordinator, Dana Smith was responsible for the recruitment and training of MRC volunteers and developed the volunteers into a response capable unit.   Dutchess County’s MRC is now a model program, recognized across the state and the nation for best practices.    The MRC program currently has more than 300 volunteers registered and has been activated for a variety of events including overnight shelter operations for the Twin Peaks snow storms last winter and cooling center operations this past summer.   MRC volunteers also provided over 1100 hours of expertise and service for Dutchess County’s H1N1 pandemic response of mass vaccination and high priority group vaccination clinics in 2009-2010, saving Dutchess County over $40,000 in staffing and other costs.

Mr. Smith said, “I greatly appreciate the support of County Executive Steinhaus and I am honored he has selected me as Emergency Response Coordinator.    Dutchess County is blessed with top notch volunteer and career first responders and I look forward to working with all of them as well as our County Emergency Response Team and other County departments in this new role.”
The Emergency Response Coordinator manages a department of the administration and reports directly to the County Executive.  He is responsible for planning and supervising the Emergency Response Department and its various training and preparedness programs, supervises the daily operation of the fire communications system and works with fire departments county-wide to develop prevention and response programs and to coordinate training.   In addition, the Emergency Response Coordinator oversees emergency response and natural disaster and civil defense programs planning and review and manages the County E911 system.

Mr. Smith has served as Acting Coordinator since December, 2010, following the retirement of former Emergency Response Coordinator, John Murphy. 

A resolution confirming the appointment of Mr. Smith as Emergency Response Coordinator is being forwarded to the Dutchess County Legislature for consideration at the February board meeting.

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