Pearl – Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Robert Latham announces Richard Wilson as the new MEMA Deputy Administrator. Wilson will oversee the day-to-day operations of the MEMA offices of Response, Preparedness, Field Services and Logistics.
Wilson has a long career in emergency management. He served as the Rankin County Emergency Management Director for 18 years from March 1990 to January 2008. Among the numerous disaster responses he led was the November 1992 F-4 Tornado that left 10 dead, 98 injured, destroyed 60 homes and damaged 500 more in Rankin County.
In August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina plowed through Mississippi, Wilson and his staff initially provided assistance and commodities to the citizens of Rankin and 12 other counties in the central part of the state. Wilson then deployed to the gulf coast where he assisted in response and recovery operations at the Harrison County Emergency Operations Center in Gulfport.
“Richard’s experience as a local EMA director makes him uniquely qualified for this position,” said Director Latham. “His disaster experience at the local level and understanding of the importance of building and sustaining capability will ensure that MEMA continues to make preparedness our number one priority.”
Wilson began his career as a first responder with the Florence Volunteer Fire Department, where he worked from 1972 to 1992 and also served as fire chief. His department provided support to the cities of Jackson and Flowood during the Historic Easter Flood of the Pearl River in 1979.
Wilson officially assumed the position on June 1.
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