PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Charles “Chuck” Kesson was recently recognized for his exceptional service as the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Communications Unit Leader for the town of Portsmouth from February 2012 to May 2019.
His citation reads:
“As a member of the EMA Communications Unit, Mr. KESSON was instrumental in the actual creation of the Unit, and in assembling our suite of communications equipment. This equipment provides the capability to operate effectively from the Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and from remote locations in support of emergency operations. The system he helped create provides a needed redundancy for both our Police and Fire Departments. This system supports interoperability with other response teams State wide and enhances the Town’s continuity of operations capability in times of disaster. With equipment in place, CHARLES KESSON developed operating procedures, maintenance schedules, security measures, as well as training and exercise programs to maintain readiness and institutionalize best practices. He and his team would support operations during Super Storm Sandy (October 29, 2012) when the EOC team compiled and transmitted critical situational information to FEMA and the RI Emergency Management Agency. During activation of the Regional Red Cross Shelter on Aquidneck Island, Chuck understood our response priority to save lives, and would make it clear to his team that even though their function was communications, if the shelter needed cots set up – you set up cots. During the sudden passing of the previous Emergency Management Director, Mr. John King, CHUCK KESSON would provide an unprecedented level of support to the incoming Director, ensuring he was well briefed on local procedures and capabilities, and that the Emergency Management Agency’s level of readiness was not degraded. During this period, he helped rearrange the EOC and construct a situation unit display to facilitate decision making and resource management during large events.
CHARLES KESSON’s dedication and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the volunteer professionals, volunteers whom are recognized as essential to the readiness and success of the Emergency Management Programs in the Town of Portsmouth and throughout the nation.”