Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced the appointment of Jason Biermann to the position of Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM). Jason was previously the Deputy Director and Interim Director of DEM and is charged with preparing for and coordinating responses to emergencies that impact Snohomish County and the region.
“I join my fellow Snohomish County residents in feeling a great peace of mind that Jason has agreed to take on this important role. When an emergency strikes, there’s no one I’d rather have in the lead than Jason,” said Executive Somers. “He has been a firefighter in Texas, an emergency manager in Wyoming, a soldier in the U.S Army and Army Reserve, and now will be responsible for ensuring that Snohomish County is as prepared as possible for the next disaster.”
The Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management has 12 employees and a yearly budget of $4.3 million. Most of DEM’s budget comes from federal and state grants. DEM has been most active during our yearly flooding and storm cycles. But it gained significant national attention for their role responding to the SR-530 Slide in 2014 and the Okanogan Complex Fires in 2015.
“It is an honor to lead this great group of professionals and to take point on preparing Snohomish County for disasters. While I hope our department is not needed, we’ll work very hard to be as prepared as possible if it is” said Biermann. “Since our region is prone to earthquakes, forest fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, and other potentially catastrophic emergencies, we always urge the public to prepare a plan and gather supplies. We will be there to help, but in the first few hours or days, people may need to help themselves. If you’re prepared, we can better cope with the next disaster that strikes.”