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In the News

Ritchey leads CAPCOG Homeland Security Division with public safety pride

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Former Caldwell County Emergency Management Chief (EMC), Martin Ritchey joined CAPCOG in August to lead its Homeland Security Division; he brings with him a vast amount of emergency preparedness and response experience, an understanding of regional needs and cooperation, and a desire to further regional efforts enhancing emergency management planning.

CAPCOG's Homeland Security Director, Martin Ritchey, received a plaque from emergency management peers for serving as the Homeland Security Task Force chair while working as Caldwell County Emergency Management Chief. Ritchey became the CAPCOG Homeland Security director in August after 6 years of service in Caldwell County. Also pictured are Emergency Management Coordinator, Dorothy L. Miller (left); and Hays County Office of Emergency Management Director and Emergency Management Coordiantor, Kharley Bagley Smith (right).

“Public service is a privilege, and I thought I could have a bigger impact by serving not just my community but the region here,” Ritchey said. He started his emergency management career for the City of Hometown, Illinois Emergency Disaster Agency and as a volunteer chief for the Salvation Army’s Emergency Canteen Service for three Chicago area counties. While living in Caldwell County, the 2011 fires, which spread across Bastrop, Caldwell and Travis counties, called him back to the emergency management field. “The fire struck a chord with me,” he said. “It could have been my house on fire, and they were my neighbors’ homes. I thought I could help in future disasters.”

During 2012 and 2013, Ritchey served as the volunteer coordinator for Caldwell County before becoming the county’s EMC. He also was instrumental in creating Caldwell County’s Emergency Services District No. 4, of which he still serves as a volunteer firefighter and a commissioner. In his Caldwell County role, Ritchey has overseen the response, recovery and mitigation for five federally declared disasters in five years including hurricanes, floods and fires, and a hot air balloon crash that killed 16 which is classified as a Type I Incident Management Team event. Ritchey has served on CAPCOG’s Homeland Security Task Force for five years and has been the advisory committee’s chair and vice-chair. “I have worked with many of the people throughout the region for several years, and working with my colleagues in the cities and the counties at this capacity is an honor,” he said.

> Learn about CAPCOG's Homeland Security Division.

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