Retired Captain Named as First Federal Preparedness Coordinator

BOSTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the selection of Captain W. Russell Webster, USCG (Ret) as FEMA Region I’s (New England) first Federal Preparedness Coordinator (FPC). The FPC position is a newly created job that is emblematic of FEMA’s acknowledgment of and renewed emphasis on establishing and maintaining relationships with state, federal and tribal partners. FEMA has designated one FPC for each of its ten regions.

“I am pleased Russ has accepted this new position with FEMA,” said FEMA Region I Administrator Art Cleaves. “His experience and perspective enhance our efforts to ensure each individual is better prepared and regional partnerships are strengthened. These are the building block to stronger response capabilities for our communities and businesses.”

Webster is a 1977 graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and a 1996 graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, RI. During his 26 year military service, he served in two ships and commanded two shore stations, including US Coast Guard Group Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the largest shore rescue unit in the United States. During that tour, he was the Coast Guard?s Incident Commander for the response to both the JFK Jr and Egypt Air flight 990 air crashes in 1999.

In 2001, he was the director for Coast Guard operations from Maine to New Jersey and coordinated regional operations in response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Upon retirement from the Coast Guard in 2003, he transitioned to DHS civilian service with the Transportation Security Administration, where he occupied three positions at Logan Airport, a Category X airport that was the hub for seven other airports throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his four and a half years with TSA Boston, he co-led a planning effort with 30 regional local, state and federal stakeholders with a vested interest in preventing and responding to terrorist attacks in the transportation systems. That effort produced groundbreaking memorandums of understanding and a shared strategic plan developed by and for the partners.

“I am excited about serving as Region I’s first Federal Preparedness Coordinator where I can help shape and positively impact the region?s readiness and FEMA’s overall mission — that all of us are better prepared to respond to and recover from the next incident when it occurs,” said Webster.

Captain Webster transitioned to FEMA as the FPC on February 4, 2008. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Cape Elizabeth, Maine with their two children Andrew, 19, and Noelle, age 13.

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