Ohio official hired as new TEMA director

News release from governor’s office
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Patrick Sheehan as director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Sheehan, 40, is currently the operations administrator for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. He has led Ohio’s Emergency Operations Center and the Radiological and Preparedness Branches since 2014, successfully managing the state’s response to several declared emergencies including the 2014 Ebola event, a 2014 drinking water crisis in Toledo, a statewide propane shortage in 2014, and a 2012 statewide long-term power outage and heat wave impacting 33 Ohio counties.

“Patrick was the top candidate in a nationwide search for a director to lead the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. His experience coordinating the responses to several serious statewide emergencies in Ohio is impressive and he will use those skills to help Tennesseans during times of crisis,” Haslam said.

“I am honored by this opportunity and excited to serve the people of Tennessee,” Sheehan said. “TEMA has a great national reputation, and I look forward to working with the TEMA team and Tennessee’s county EMA directors to prepare for, respond to and recover from all disasters.”

Sheehan joined the Ohio Emergency Management Agency in 2004 as part of the finance staff and has been consistently promoted to various leadership roles in the agency. As operations administrator he spearheaded the formation of an emergency management watch office to provide constant monitoring of emergency situations and immediate response operations.

“Patrick brings a wealth of emergency management experience and knowledge to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency,” Maj. Gen. Max Haston said. “We are indeed fortunate to find someone of his caliber to head TEMA.”

Sheehan takes over the director position from David Purkey, who returns to the singular position of homeland security advisor and assistant commissioner of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security after serving in dual roles for the past two years.

Sheehan is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and completed additional studies in business and public administration at Ohio State University and Capital University. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a chemical operational specialist.

He and his wife, Cheryl, have three children and will reside in the Nashville area. His first day on the job will be Wednesday, June 15.