Dallas County hires emergency management coordinator

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Austen "A. J." Seely will take up his position Monday as the new Dallas County emergency management coordinator.

Austen “A. J.” Seely will start his new job Monday as the Dallas County emergency management coordinator, the second person ever to fill the position.

Seely’s dates his career in emergency services to ride-alongs and job shadowings near Cedar Rapids starting in 2008, but he became a full timer in 2012.

“I’ve had a lifelong interest in emergency services and preparedness,” Seely said, “more specifically how it relates to whole community preparedness.”

Seely’s formal education in emergency services began at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, where he obtained an associate’s degree in applied fire science. He then became a nationally registered EMT-paramedic through a program at the University of Iowa while also working for Iowa County as a career paramedic and with the Hiawatha Fire Department as a firefighter/paramedic.

Seely continued his education at Upper Iowa University, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in public administration, with an emphasis in emergency management.

In February 2017 he was appointed to the emergency management coordinator position in Chickasaw County, where he worked and lived until accepting his position with the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency.

“I look forward to moving emergency management and preparedness in Dallas County forward through community outreach, local support and emergency operations coordination,” Seely said.

In his short time as Chickasaw County’s emergency management coordinator, Seely was responsible for developing and implementing the county’s 911 system, countywide EMS program, technical rescue team and emergency management program. He gained further experience working in emergency operations during the 2016, 2017 and 2018 weather-related disasters.

Seely currently serves on many statewide training committees and organizations and is actively involved in the Iowa Emergency Managers Association, National Emergency Number Association and Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association. He has served on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Fire Grants review panel since 2015.

Seely was hired by the Dallas County Emergency Management Commission, which is made up of the mayors of all the cities in Dallas County plus one member of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors and the Dallas County Sheriff. The commission appoints an emergency management coordinator to manage the Emergency Management Agency and assist the commission.

Seely has been happily married to his wife, Brianna, since 2017. They have a 4-month-old at home and two pets. He enjoys spending time outside, staying active, running, learning and reading.

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