New Homeland Security Coordinator for Sweetwater County Appointed

New Homeland Security Coordinator for Sweetwater County Appointed

Emily Covey, pictured with her husband Ron, was recently appointed as Sweetwater County's new Homeland Security Coordinator.

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Emily Martinez-Covey has been appointed by Governor Mark Gordon as the new Homeland Security Coordinator for Sweetwater County,

Covey has served with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office for the last four years as an assistant coordinator for emergency management; she assumed the duties of director of emergency management and homeland security coordinator in March after a recent retirement through the county’s voluntary separation program.

In Sweetwater County, the sheriff makes a formal recommendation to the board of county commissioners as to who should serve as the county’s homeland security coordinator. The county commissioners then formally nominate that person for the position to the governor’s office, and after an extensive background investigation by the state, the governor then formally appoints the homeland security coordinator. In Wyoming, the law requires that the governor appoint the homeland security coordinator in each of Wyoming’s 23 counties.

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“There’s not anyone in my mind who has worked harder to educate herself during her time here on all things emergency management than Emily. In only three short months as director, she has already taken so many important steps to refocus the vision and streamline the efficiency of our emergency management program,” Sheriff John Grossnickle said. “I’m very proud of the work she is doing, and I’m confident that the direction she is headed with her new assignment will only better prepare us as a community in the event of a large-scale emergency here in Sweetwater County.”

“I’m excited to build on the foundation we’ve laid over the last four years during my time as assistant coordinator. There are so many different things involved with emergency management that, frankly, most people just don’t care about,” Covey said. “What people do care about is that they are prepared in the event of an actual emergency, and my mission as director and coordinator is to act as a bridge for help for our community in those instances, and to educate our residents about how best to prepare themselves for when these things happen.”

Among her top priorities, Covey said her focus is on raising awareness about preparedness, fostering active participation among community residents and volunteers, and establishing new partnerships with different stakeholders throughout the county.

“Right now, I’ve dedicated my efforts on community outreach through a more robust social media presence and increased visibility of emergency management at different community events throughout the county,” Covey said.

In addition to scheduling and planning for these events, Covey is in the process of reaching out to over 150 existing volunteers, updating their contact information, and personally introducing herself. She is also reviewing 15 new volunteer applications that she’s received after a recent push on social media to attract even more volunteers to the many different programs emergency management is involved with at the sheriff’s office and throughout the community.

Covey said she is working with the Red Cross in a new partnership to assist with preparedness awareness and education, as a local resource for sheltering in the event of an emergency. She will be involving the Red Cross in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that she has planned for the end of the summer.

To stay up-to-date on upcoming activities and volunteer opportunities with Sweetwater County Emergency Management, please visit their Facebook page.