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Posted on: October 3, 2019

Ruch Graduates from FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy


Sara Ruch, James City County’s Deputy Coordinator for Emergency Management, graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Emergency Management Executive Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD on Sept. 26, 2019.

The Executive Academy provides the opportunity to work collaboratively, share smart practices and participate in exercises with other senior leaders facing similar challenges. It instills emergency management leaders with a deeper understanding of contemporary and emerging emergency management issues, debates and public policy. FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy is for senior executives at the pinnacle of their careers. It’s the final phase of FEMA’s Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP).

Ruch has been in the emergency management profession since 2006. She is a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers. She is also a Certified Floodplain Manager through the Association of State Floodplain Managers. She is a past president of the Virginia Emergency Management Association and a former Board Member of FEMA’s Region 3 Advisory Council. She has been a member of FEMA’s Comprehensive Preparedness Guide Working Group since 2011.

Ruch graduated with a BA from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and a MS from North Dakota State University (NDSU). After she graduated from NDSU she started her career in emergency management as an Assistant Regional Emergency Management Planner at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC). While working at the HRPDC she was instrumental in starting the Hampton Roads Urban Area Working Group, developing and writing the first 2 years of investment justifications for the region and the 2007 Hampton Roads Homeland Security Strategic Plan.

Ruch took a position as the Senior Emergency Management Planner and then as the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management for the City of Hampton, Virginia. As Deputy Coordinator she worked three presidentially declared disasters, one of which as the Acting Coordinator of Emergency Management for the City of Hampton. She has served as chair of multiple state and regional emergency management committees and subcommittees.

Ruch has been in the region for 13 years and with James City County for the past two years. Last year she organized the County’s response to Hurricane Michael and assisted with James City County’s Presidential Disaster Declaration from the storm. She is currently working on updating the County’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), creating an emergency management training program for County staff and handling any emergency management issues that occur in the meantime.

Media Contact:
Ryan Ashe, Fire Chief
757-565-7604, 757-592-1437;

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