Jordan Villwock takes helm of county emergency management organization looking to strengthen coordination between agencies

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LAGUNA BEACH — Jordan Villwock’s dream of doing work that’s significant, thrilling and totally different day by day is a actuality.

Villwock, who since 2015 has managed Laguna Beach’s Emergency Operation Center, earlier this month was named chairman of the Orange County Emergency Management Organization.

The group consists of greater than 120 Orange County agencies together with county and metropolis governments, college districts and particular districts, with a mission to assist countywide efforts to put together for, reply to and get well from disasters.

In his Laguna Beach emergency position, Villwock, 33, has expertise conserving the town’s departments knowledgeable. He describes himself as “the glue that keeps everything together,” ensuring division heads — together with the town supervisor, police chief and fireplace chief — have the required info to shield the group.

He additionally coordinates the town’s emergency management coaching and retains the residents knowledgeable by managing the AlertOC mass notification system and social media platforms.

In the final decade, Laguna Beach — surrounded by tons of of acres of open house on its inland facet and steep cliffs alongside its seashores — has had landslides, wildfires and tsunami alerts.

“Laguna Beach is the disaster capital in Orange County,” Vilwock stated. “We have a lot of hazards. Wildland fires are our biggest threat. The city also only has three entrances and exits. It those are compromised in a disaster, we’ve already crippled ourselves.”

It’s that have that has ready Villwock for the broader O.C. Emergency Management Organization position.

Villwock will lead the board of 5 in bettering the county’s emergency preparedness. His targets embody larger collaboration and countywide workouts, he stated.

“We have to listen to each other and develop plans that include everyone,” he stated. “We’re only better when we all play together.”

As an instance, he factors to a dwell shooter train deliberate at Laguna Beach College of Art and Design on Wednesday, Jan. 10. The function is to take a look at inter-agency capabilities and the readiness of first responders.

The train entails regulation enforcement and fireplace agencies together with from Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

One of the initiatives the countywide group labored on final yr was creating a process to help residents who change into displaced in a catastrophe. The sheltering committee included Laguna Beach and representatives from Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and Newport Beach.

In Laguna Beach, Villwock in December labored with metropolis departments and ran workouts to simulate sheltering wants within the metropolis’s Susi Q and Community Center within the downtown.

“We identified gaps and ways to address them,” Villwock stated. “I’d like to see other communities in our group meet not just to meet, but to have projected goals in mind.”

Villwock, who grew up in Dana Point and now lives in Lake Forest, stated he grew to become fascinated with regulation enforcement and first responder work whereas at Dana Hills High School when he joined the Laguna Beach Police Department’s Explorer Program beneath then-Chief Jim Spreine.

“Laguna had a really good program with a lot of history,” he stated. “I was hooked from there on. It was fun to come to Laguna Beach and volunteer my time.”

Villwock began as a dispatcher with the police division in 2004 whereas pursuing his bachelor’s diploma in political science at Concordia University. He later grew to become a senior dispatcher whereas he completed his mater’s diploma in emergency service administration at Cal State Long Beach. He took over emergency response duties whereas nonetheless a dispatcher in 2011.

Villwock stated he realized to multitask as a dispatcher, and to perceive the significance of coordinating rapidly with all of the town’s departments.

Laguna Beach is the one Orange County metropolis that has dispatchers that cope with all of the town’s first responder agencies together with police, fireplace and marine security. That permits for easy transitions between the responding agencies, Villwock stated.

He stated he hopes to additional develop that strategy within the county as an entire.

“We cannot plan in a silo,” he stated. “We need to exercise plans. We have to be prepared for all hazards, both man-made and natural. The role of emergency management is more important than ever before.”

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