Executive Council Confirms Concord Fire Chief Pope To Serve as Director of Homeland Security & Emergency Management

For Immediate Release
July 19, 2006
Contact:Communications Director
Office of the Governor
603-271-2121

CONCORD - The Executive Council today unanimously confirmed Concord Fire Chief Chris Pope to serve as the state's director of homeland security and emergency management.

"Chris Pope is an energetic leader who can bring people together to make sure that New Hampshire is doing everything possible to prepare for any potential emergency. He has proven experience as an emergency management coordinator on the local level, good working relationships with other emergency response officials, and knowledge of homeland security issues," Gov. Lynch said. "This is an important position to ensure that New Hampshire is doing everything possible to protect our citizens no matter what the emergency, and I thank the Councilors for their strong support of Chief Pope."

Pope was nominated for the position by Safety Commissioner Dick Flynn, in consultation with Gov. Lynch.

Pope has served as the City of Concord's fire chief and emergency management coordinator since March 2002. As a member of the Concord Fire Department since 1977, he has held a number of positions including firefighter/paramedic, division commander, battalion chief and special projects coordinator.

Pope recently received a master's degree in National Security Studies, with a focus in homeland security and defense, from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He has a bachelor's degree in public safety administration from Granite State College.

Gov. Lynch recently signed House Bill 1697, which creates the position of director of homeland security and emergency management. Under the new law, the commissioner of Safety nominates the director, after consultation with the governor. The director of homeland security and emergency management will serve at the pleasure of the governor.

The director of homeland security and emergency management will oversee state-level planning, exercises and responses to terrorist threats and incidents, as well natural and human-caused disaster. The director shall serve as the state's primary contact with the federal Department of Homeland Security. Under the law, he will coordinate and collaborate with other state agencies to respond to disasters including epidemics and threats to public health.

"I look forward to working with Commissioner Flynn and Chief Pope to further strengthen our efforts to ensure that all of state government is working together, and with local communities, the private sector and nonprofits, to do everything possible to protect our citizens," Gov. Lynch said.