WELCOME to YOUR new web page!
Updated: Jan 28, 2022
We are very excited to launch our new web page for Piscataquis County Emergency Management. It won't be fancy, but hopefully it will be FUNCTIONAL. My name is Jaeme Duggan and I am your new Director of Emergency Management for Piscataquis County. Some of you have met me already, some have not. I have been on the job just slightly over 90 days now. One of the first 'projects' that went on my white board was a web page where the local Emergency Managers could find information, reach out with questions, find training opportunities... and maybe even a handy list of what all those FEMA acronyms stand for. (Am I right? ) I am going to take this first post to introduce myself. Very shortly, I'll post a second blog about what we hope this webpage will be for all of you-- the public, the EMs, and Piscataquis public safety providers. I am so humbled to have been entrusted with the EMA for Piscataquis. As of August, I will have served 23 years in Public Safety. Except for a brief hiatus, most of those years I have been in Emergency Communications. I also served 7 years as a (Maine) Law Enforcement Officer, and spent 7 years working in a Fire House just south of Boston while I was caring/providing hospice for my elderly parents. (Yes, <sigh> I am 'From Away,' and always will be, but I've lived in Maine more than double the time I lived any where else. And my **heart** is here.) I began travelling to Piscataquis County to teach in the mid-to-late 90's. I discovered how much I love this place, and how much it speaks to my heart. After my parents passed, it was very clear to me where I wanted to move 'home' to in Maine. After initially working at Mayo Hospital in Security for a time, a coveted and rare opening in Dispatch for the Sheriffs Office came up. I was back at it, once again. You can take the girl out of Emergency Comms, but you can't take the Emergency Comms out of the girl. It felt so eminently like 'coming home.' There are very, very large shoes to fill here at Piscataquis County EMA, but I've been having an absolute blast at it since I started in mid-October. I am PASSIONATE, (some people call that a different name... 🙄 ) about Incident Command and **COMMUNICATIONS.** And have found myself in a position not only to influence policy, but also to physically implement changes which will save lives. (but that is another blog,(s) for another day... ) I have been received with nothing but but graciousness and welcome by every agency and municipality I've met with. I am SO excited to be developing Emergency Operations Plans for some communities which have never had one. The other county directors are absolutely The Bomb. I can safely say in my entire working career I have NEVER been welcomed and mentored by such an amazing, experienced group of professionals. Again-- I can (and probably will!) write another whole post about these inimitable leaders who have ZERO worry about sharing knowledge and skill. It is so incredibly refreshing as to be almost improbable. Meanwhile, the COUNTY Hazard Mitigation plan expires in 2023, so the process began basically about 17 minutes after I first sat in the chair. We are absolutely CRAZY lucky to have some INCREDIBLY talented Planners working for us right now. And, always, ALWAYS, when I say "we" I am referring to myself, and Deputy Director Deb Hamlin, who is Wonder Woman. Deb ran the entire agency herself for about three months, and since then has not only had to do her own job, but train a newbie. She has done it with grace, kindness and humour. We ALL KNOW who runs the office. She likes to say, "I'm the paperwork, Jaeme's the people-work." And in some ways that is true... but... when you call or email, Deb is the first Force of Nature you usually get, and she is Impeccable. I have another post planned for 'goals and wishes...' for myself personally... and you may see Deb pop in here now and again as a guest blogger. This will be the place we hope to keep you up to date on anything and everything, (and sometimes nothing!) going on in our County, at the State and FEMA level of Emergency Management. EVERY individual is important. I have met so many wonderful, amazing HUMANS in the last 90 days who I KNOW have so much to share and participate and partner with us. I am SO EXCITED. I have a couple of blog posts already ponied up... those and future posts we'll talk about the County Radio Project, the Dispatch Center Move, Resiliency, Mayday Policy, GRANTS !! Mental Health... Training... And so much more. I hope to hear from anyone with ideas and input. I'm pretty excited (can you tell?) about Piscataquis County EMA finally having a website of our own. We plan to have some private groups for municipal Emergency Managers, and Public Safety Responders. I'm hoping-- we'll see if my cyber-skills are up to it-- for this to be our all-in-one stop. If you're still reading this? THANK YOU!!! And... here's to new beginnings. Be well and warm, be prepared, above all, be safe. Jaeme