Carroll County Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, has been tapped by the governor's administration to participate in an effort to revamp the state's emergency management strategy.
On Oct. 9, Wantz was officially named to the governor's Emergency Management Advisory Council, a collection of professionals and academics in the emergency management field who advise the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
"Bottom line, I'm excited and very proud to be able to serve," he said. "For me, it's a way in which to reach out and help the citizens here and all across the state and I'm excited about being able to jump into that."
Wantz brings 30 years of experience as a firefighter to the council. He has received numerous awards, including Fire Fighter of the Year by the Dundalk Volunteer fire company in 1983, and by the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce in 2003 and 2012. Wantz also has administrative experience, as he is a past president of the Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association.
The council was formed in 1950 as the Civil Defense Advisory Council, before being renamed to the Civil Defense and Disasters Preparedness Advisory Council in 1975. It wasn't until 1981 that it took its recent form as the Emergency Management Advisory Council. Members are appointed by the governor and serve two-year terms.
"When it comes to emergencies, this group sets the tone for the direction in which government should tackle management," Wantz said. "Honestly, I have no idea what to expect; it could be pretty intense."