On Wednesday Greenwich’s new Emergency Management Director, Joseph Laucella, who hails from Shelton, was introduced at an event in the emergency operations center in the town’s public safety complex.
Chief Heavey explained that the room was selected for the event because it is where police, fire, EMS, public works, parks & rec, and tree department coordinate during emergencies.
“During Sandy this room was open for two weeks,” Heavey said. “This room is the heartbeat. We figured it was a good place for you to see where you’ll be when the big one happens.”
First Selectman Camillo said the timing of Laucella’s employment was ideal since hurricane season is approaching.
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” he added, noting Laucella is not a town employee, but rather he is a contract employee under GEMS.
“Joe brought not only enthusiasm, but some really good ideas about expanding the position – with community outreach, not just reacting to pending storms and emergencies,” Camillo said.
Mr. Laucella fills the vacancy created last summer after Dan Warzoha died suddenly. Laucella has more than two decades of emergency medical, firefighting and public safety experience.
Laucella was one of 43 candidates who applied for the position during a national search. He was the top choice of the interview committee which was comprised of members of GEMS, Fire Dept, Health Dept, Parks & Rec Dept, Police Dept, and Public Works Dept, as well as First Selectman Fred Camillo and Town Administrator Ben Branyan.
Laucella said he had been excited about applying for the job because it will give him the ability work with all the disciplines under the EMS umbrella.
“I’ve been in EMS since the age of 16, and have worked through the ranks,”he said. “I’ve been involved in two different towns during multiple disasters, and EMS was always a focal piece to the emergency response, whether it was through sheltering, commodities distribution or welfare checks.”
GEMS director Tracy Schietinger said, “The role of the Emergency Management Director is vital to the Town in planning, preparing and coordinating responses during a disaster.”
Schietinger said Mr. Laucella’s expertise in emergency management at the regional, state and federal levels, coupled with his experience in public safety, fire and EMS made him the right choice.
Camillo thanked Chief Hevey for having served as interim Emergency Management Director for the past eight months during the search.
Prior to coming to Greenwich, Laucella served as Director of Operations of the Echo Hose Ambulance for 13+ years, andas the Emergency Medical Service Director for the Town of Trumbull for five years.
For the past 20 years, he served as a Public Safety Officer for Fairfield University.
As a lifelong Shelton resident, he began serving his community by volunteering as a Shelton firefighter and EMT with Echo Hose Ambulance.
Laucella holds numerous state and federal certifications and licenses. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in justice and law administration from Western Connecticut State University, he is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Basic Academy.