Jim Reid, director of the El Paso County Office of Emergency Management, has been named director of the newly established Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management.
Last month, the city of Colorado Springs and El Paso County announced an intergovernmental agreement to establish and operate a joint emergency management office, called the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management.
The joint office will allow the county and the city to optimize staff resources, establish a single point of contact during major incidents and enhance communication during and after an event.
Reid will oversee the existing offices and guide the merger of the two organizations, which will be consolidated later this year.
“The selection of Jim Reid as director of the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management is a key step in our efforts to streamline emergency management,” Mayor John Suthers said in a joint city-county news release. “We’re confident that under Jim’s leadership, this joint effort will benefit residents of Colorado Springs and El Paso County as we continue to improve city-county collaboration, maximize efficiencies and positively impact service to all residents.”
Reid led the county emergency management office during the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon wildfires.
“A regional OEM will provide stronger emergency preparedness, response and recovery while building a more powerful sense of community throughout the region,” El Paso County Administrator Henry Yankowski said. “The leadership that Jim has shown over the years in helping El Paso County, its citizens and the Pikes Peak Region persevere through several emergencies … make him an obvious choice to lead this important organization.”
Colorado Springs City Council and the El Paso County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement Jan. 22 to operate the joint emergency management office, will be responsible for coordinating and assisting first responders in emergencies as well as preparing government and the community for disasters. The city and county will contribute equally to the new agency’s budget.
“Consolidating our disaster and emergency response efforts is crucial,” El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf said. “These events affect everyone in the region. We need to continue to foster a mindset of a regional community that works together to achieve its goals, remain prepared, come together in tough times and preserve the safety of one of the best places in the country to live, work and play.”
Reid has overseen the county’s emergency management office for the past 14 years. He led efforts toward community preparedness and coordinated emergency response and support within the 2,100-square-mile county, which includes eight municipalities, five military bases, 26 fire districts and more than 200 special districts.
Reid served as executive director of the Public Works Department beginning in April 2013, before shifting to a full-time role as county OEM Director in mid-2018.
As the head of Public Works, he oversaw the county engineering section, highway department, vehicle maintenance, Office of Emergency Management and administration of the El Paso County ambulance contract.
He provided oversight and direction of a $35-million-dollar budget and managed approximately 170 employees that support 2,100 lane-miles of roadway, 22,000 acres of right of way and 273 bridges.
Reid, who was selected by Jeff Greene, the city’s chief of staff, and Yankowski, began his new role Feb. 25.