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Hillsborough Co. welcomes new Office of Emergency Management Director | News

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Hillsborough Co. welcomes new Office of Emergency Management Director
News, People
Hillsborough Co. welcomes new Office of Emergency Management Director

HIllsborough County, FL -- As the 2011 hurricane season begins, Hillsborough County welcomes its new Director for the Office of Emergency Management, Preston D. Cook.

Cook brings to Hillsborough County more than 20 years of experience in public service and emergency management.

Cook was introduced to the Board of County Commissioners at their June 15 meeting and said he is excited about the opportunity to do great things and is ready to get to work. He is expected to start on Monday, June 27 and will make $105,000 a year.

Cook is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Before coming to Florida, he served five years in the United States Army specializing in secure communications within the military intelligence community.

Most recently, Cook served as the Executive Director of Emergency Management for Orange County, Florida.  In that position, Cook was responsible for oversight of the execution of emergency plans and guidelines, disaster operations and the activation and management of Orange County's Emergency Operations Center.

He began his career with Orange County in 1991 and was certified as an Emergency Manager (CEM) in 1998 by the International Association of Emergency Managers. He is also certified as a Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM). Cook holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida.

In March 2009, Orange County was accredited through the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) under Cook's leadership. Orange County was only the second county within Florida and the fourth organization of its size in the nation to achieve this distinction.

Another of Cook's accomplishments is his leadership in the development of a regional Post-Disaster Economic Redevelopment Plan, in which he guided the identification of issues affecting the region's vision for restoring post disaster economies.

In May 2009, Governor Charlie Crist presented Cook with the Florida’s Emergency Management Award in recognition for his extraordinary commitment to excellence and leadership.

Under Hillsborough County's recent reorganization, the Office of Emergency Management is now a division of the Fire Rescue Department.  As such, Cook will report to the Fire Chief.  He will report directly to the County Administrator's Office during declared emergencies.

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