New York City’s Office of Emergency Management will see its Commissioner step down from his post later this month after ten years of heading up the department.
Joseph Bruno, who was appointed to the position by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg in early 2004, tendered his resignation on June 6th and has said that he based his decision on the fact that current Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to appoint a new executive team to the EM office in New York. There has not been any word yet on who will be replacing Bruno.
During his tenure as the city’s chief of emergency management, Bruno was responsible for oversight of a number of critical initiatives as well as the coordination of the city’s response to several emergencies. Some of the more notable of these included the derailment of the Metro North train in late 2013, the blackout in Queens in 2006, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
He also was integral in developing the city’s newest emergency preparedness initiatives. He and his team were responsible for distributing over 10 million emergency preparedness guides to the citizens of New York City. The city has seen its Community Emergency Response Team program develop into more than 54 teams with nearly 2,000 volunteers on Bruno’s watch.
The outgoing emergency management chief also helped to improve emergency housing within the city and earlier this year a new plan was unveiled for emergency housing that stemmed from Bruno’s experience in leading his team during the Hurricane Sandy disaster which left thousands of New Yorkers without shelter.
Many described Bruno as the consummate professional in a field that requires nothing but professionalism. He was well-known and respected among the leaders in the nation’s emergency management community and was a proven leader not just in New York but as an example in emergency management and preparedness in just about every major city in America.