Kagel named Chesco Emergency Services Director


Robert Kagel

WEST CHESTER — Chester County Commissioners today named Robert Kagel as Director of the Department of Emergency Services. Kagel was formerly deputy director for emergency management for the department.

“The safety of Chester County residents is one of our top priorities and this is an extremely important position in county government,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Ryan Costello.  “We are fortunate to have someone with Bobby’s experience and professionalism take on the directorship role.”

Kagel replaces Ed Atkins, who served as director of the department for 17 years before his death earlier this year.  John Haynes, Deputy Director of 9-1-1 Operations, has been serving as interim director since that time.  

The commissioners appeared to be in strong agreement on Kagel.

“The county has an excellent emergency services record and we know that Bobby will continue in the tradition of Ed Atkins and the fine department team,” Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said. “Bobby has the respect of the Department of Emergency Services staff as well as that of Chester County’s first responder community.

“County residents deserve assurance that, in the event of an emergency, there is someone in leadership that can make the right decisions quickly,” Commissioner Terence Farrell. “Bobby has a tremendous depth of knowledge of all areas of the Department of Emergency Services, and over the years he has been recognized for this knowledge with both state and national awards.

“We also thank John Haynes for stepping in and leading the department as interim director following Ed’s passing,” added  Farrell.

As deputy director for emergency management, Kagel was responsible for implementing all phases of the comprehensive emergency management program in Chester County and coordinating with the 73 municipal emergency managers, 45 police departments, 52 fire departments, 23 emergency medical service organizations, and numerous local, county, regional and state agencies on emergency management issues.  He also had responsibility for the county’s Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Department’s Exercise Development Team.

Before becoming deputy director, Kagel was the Assistant Director for Quality where he was responsible for providing an objective review of all areas of the department, with specific focus on the 9-1-1 Operations Center.

Kagel is a nationally registered emergency medical technician and a volunteer firefighter.  He has experience in several Presidential disaster declarations.  He responded to the West Nickel Mines Amish School Shooting in Lancaster in October 2006 as well as the Coatesville arson spree.

He was awarded the title of Master Exercise Practitioner from FEMA in May 2003 and the title of Certified Emergency Manager from the International Association of Emergency Managers in 2009. Earlier this year, Kagel received the Harry Robidoux Memorial Award for Excellence in Emergency Management, presented by the Keystone Emergency Management Association (KEMA).

Kagel graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies from the California University of Pennsylvania, and he holds an Associates of Applied Science degree in Technical Studies: Emergency Management and Planning.



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