|RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) State Coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern announced the official openings of two regional offices this week—VDEM’s Region One office in North Chesterfield today, and the Region Five office in Portsmouth yesterday.
The opening of the new regional offices will improve and enhance VDEM’s on-the-ground presence, thereby improving local coordination with state agencies and local governments responding to emergencies and disasters.
“We want to be fast, flexible and integrated with our local partners,” said Dr. Stern. “We want to build more regional capacity without increasing spending, so we redeployed staff that were previously located in Richmond to accomplish that. If you’re going to be fast and integrated, you need to be out in the communities.”
The Commonwealth manages seven geographic regions for emergency and disaster management through VDEM. Each regional office will comprise at a minimum one chief regional coordinator, a disaster response and recovery officer, a hazardous materials officer, and an all-hazards planner. Lori Dachille will serve as the Chief Regional Coordinator for VDEM Region One, and Bruce Sterling will serve in the same capacity for VDEM Region Five.
VDEM’s Region One comprises the following communities: Essex, King and Queen, King William, Hanover, Goochland, Henrico, Powhatan, the City of Richmond, New Kent, Charles City, Chesterfield, Amelia, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, Nottoway, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Brunswick, Emporia, and Greensville.
VDEM’s Region Five comprises the following communities: Southampton, Franklin, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Surry, Poquoson, York, Williamsburg, James City, Gloucester, Mathews, Northampton, Middlesex, Lancaster, Accomack, Chincoteague, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland.