Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced the upcoming retirement of Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator John Murphy. Mr. Murphy has served Dutchess County for more than 33 years including the past four years in the top leadership position as Department Head.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “John Murphy has dedicated his entire career to improving emergency response and public safety to better serve our community. He has been instrumental in implementing many of the key initiatives of the Steinhaus administration including the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System, the development and growth of our volunteer Medical Reserve Corps program as well as the construction of the Emergency Operations Center. John Murphy has devoted his professional and personal life to emergency response efforts and his passion and commitment will be sorely missed.”
John Murphy began his public service career with Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response (then known as Dutchess County Bureau of Fire) in 1977 as a fire dispatcher. He was promoted to Senior Dispatcher in 1986. He then served as Assistant Emergency Response Coordinator from 1999 to 2007 and was appointed by County Executive Steinhaus to lead the department as the Emergency Response Coordinator in February 2007.
As Emergency Response Coordinator, John Murphy has been responsible for planning and supervising the Emergency Response Department and its various training and preparedness programs, supervising the daily operation of the fire communications system and working with fire departments county-wide to develop prevention and response programs and coordinate training and management of the County E911 system.
Mr. Murphy has overseen emergency response efforts to several weather related emergencies including the widespread flooding in April 2007 and the “Twin Peaks” back to back snow storms which impacted the southern half of Dutchess County this past February. He oversaw the implementation of the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System, which extended radio coverage without the need for additional frequencies and provided improved radio transmission coverage for the County’s emergency first responders and law enforcement.
He was instrumental in building the Dutchess County’s successful Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program, which a team of volunteers who have been trained to assist existing medical response organizations and professionals to respond to a large-scale disaster of any kind, and is widely considered a model program in both the state and the nation. Today, the MRC program currently has more than 300 volunteers registered. The MRC has been activated for a variety of events including overnight shelter operations for the Twin Peaks snow storms and cooling center operations this past summer. MRC volunteers also assisted with the coordination and operation of the H1N1 clinics held in 2009 and 2010, saving Dutchess County more than $32,000 in staffing costs.
Mr. Murphy also oversaw the construction of the Emergency Operations Center, which opened in 2009. The Emergency Operations Center includes the Learning Lab training classroom where more than 2000 people have participated in meetings and training sessions, and the Emergency Operations Center which serves as the central location for coordination and control of large scale events and emergencies, such as the Twin Peaks snow storms.
Mr. Murphy has served as the Regional State Director of the New York State 911 Coordinator’s Association, as an elected Fire Commissioner of the Pleasant Valley Fire District, as Vice President of the Dutchess County Fire Chief’s Council and as the Chief of the Pleasant Valley Fire Department. He continues today as a life member of the Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Company #1.
Mr. Murphy said, “It has truly been an honor to work with the dedicated volunteer and career emergency responders throughout our community, serving the residents of Dutchess County. For the past 33 years, I have looked forward to coming to work each day, knowing I have had the best job ever. I appreciate the opportunity County Executive Steinhaus gave me to serve as the Emergency Response Coordinator, I have enjoyed the job, the people I have served and most of all the friends I have made throughout these past 33 years.
Mr. Murphy looks forward to enjoying retirement with his wife Jayne in their home in Pleasant Valley and spending quality time with friends and family, focusing on his job of being “Pa” to his four grandchildren.
County Executive Steinhaus concluded, “We will miss John Murphy and his dedication and sacrifice to serve the citizens of our county and wish him the very best in retirement.”
Mr. Murphy will officially retire on December 17, 2010.