Dear Colleagues and Friends:                     

To say that this year has been a “Wild Ride” would definitely be an understatement. A year ago not one of us thought that we would still be in the middle of a global crisis called COVID-19, but here we are still working to ensure the safety of our communities. I have seen many similarities between this crisis and others we deal with on a daily basis in that the goals are the same, life safety, incident stabilization, and preservation of property. The difference between this and other disasters is the length of time that spent in the response phase, the overall lack of resources due to the magnitude of the event, and the fact that we will see consequences of the impact for generations to come.

As books are written about the pandemic, remember much of what each of you has accomplished will be studied as best practices and the lessons learned will formulate the actions of future generations in preparation for the next worldwide pandemic. A hundred years from now when the response to this pandemic is studied as part of history students will see the fantastic work and dedication that each of you had in responding to and mitigating the effects of this world wide pandemic. The response has been difficult on each of us, and many times throughout the year the shots have kept coming and each time we have been knocked down, we rise again, and continue to push forward. This is the true definition of resilience and we as individuals and as an organization have continued the good fight.

There is one bill moving forward through the General Assembly that would add language to local EOP’s regarding unserved populations. The second item is a joint resolution regarding Emergency Managements Professionals Week. The legislative committee will have more information going forward.

VEMS 21 will be a virtual format this year and the symposium committee has been moving forward with planning to provide you with an outstanding event. While we cannot gather in person there will be opportunities to learn from leaders across the EM spectrum on a variety of topics. I encourage you to register for the sessions and carve out some time to join us for outstanding learning opportunities.

Continue to be safe, look out for one another and most importantly take care of yourself, and focus on maintaining a good work life balance. I am here for each of you, please reach out.

God Bless you.

Robert Foresman