Saguache County's Emergency Management Director Completes Training Program
SAGUACHE, CO - In a significant milestone for Saguache County's emergency preparedness, Bobby Woelz, Emergency Management Director, completed FEMA's Incident Command System (ICS) 'Train-the-Trainer' program. This accomplishment marks the end of a rigorous year-long program comprising eight courses and over 113 hours of instruction. Bobby's next step is to apply for endorsement from the State Training Officer, to officially certify him as an ICS Instructor in Colorado.
This certification will allow Director Woelz to teach a wide variety of courses, from Early Alert and Warning to Evacuation and Re-Entry. This will significantly enhance the county's overall preparedness and response capabilities.
Saguache County's Office of Emergency Management will soon be able to provide federally recognized training courses - locally. This is a significant shift from the past when individuals had to travel to larger cities like Denver or Colorado Springs, incurring travel expenses and time away from their families and their community service obligations. Saguache County’s efforts, to offer these courses locally, will streamline the training process and make it more accessible to local emergency responders. This not only saves time and money but also ensures that the county's personnel remain here to respond promptly to emergencies.
Furthermore, Director Woelz can tailor courses to suit the rural nature of Saguache County. While he cannot cut any content from these standardized courses, he has the flexibility to enhance these trainings better to suit our county's unique needs and challenges.
This achievement marks a new era in Saguache County’s training and exercise program and underscores the County's dedication to readiness. Emergency management's greatest strength comes from a well-thought-out and comprehensive training and exercise program. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, 'Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.' Well-trained personnel is the best way to ensure our community's safety in times of crisis.
This accomplishment speaks volumes about Saguache County’s dedication and commitment to the community, offering an accessible and cost-effective path to training for our local heroes. We had the opportunity to speak with Director Woelz, and he expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Saguache County Commissioners for their unwavering support that enabled his participation in this program. Woelz says, “The Commissioners’ commitment to investing in our community's emergency preparedness is commendable and reflects their dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of Saguache County residents.”
Congratulations to Director Woelz for demonstrating the true spirit of local leadership and enhancing our community's readiness.
Bobby Woelz was appointed as Director of Saguache County’s Office of Emergency Management in 2017. Bobby is a Colorado Certified Emergency Manager (CO-CEM®) and received the Emergency Manager of the Year Award for the San Luis Valley All-Hazards Region from the Colorado Emergency Management Association in 2019. He is an active member of San Luis Valley’s Wildfire Council and the Local Emergency Planning Committee. He also serves as Chair of the Emergency Coordination Committee.
With 8 years of experience as a wildland firefighter, Bobby has worked with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service and has led fuel reduction projects with the Veterans Fire AmeriCorps program for the Student Conservation Association and the Southwest Conservation Corps.