Established in 2004 as a stand-alone agency, the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management and Security (DEMS) coordinates county planning, response, support and recovery efforts before, during and after large-scale events and emergencies. In 2021, the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was reorganized into DEMS. As DEMS has grown, so have the roles, responsibilities and commitment of the staff. The agency is responsible for developing and implementing county-wide programs and projects that promote disaster planning, training, mitigation, response, prevention and recovery for all-hazards, as well as, coordinating countywide security services to include access and entry, private building security, and building surveillance. The agency not only manages two EOC sites, but also coordinates numerous local and regional projects involving local, state, regional, and federal partners.
DEMS falls under the direction of the deputy county executive for Public Safety and Planning. The county executive serves as the emergency management director. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appoint the emergency management coordinator to manage the day-to-day activities of the Department of Emergency Management and Security. This position carries full authority to carry out all assigned aspects of the emergency management program.
The Department of Emergency Management and Security (DEMS) is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our community, employees and visitors and strives to improve resiliency through comprehensive emergency management and security practices. DEMS is responsible for the coordination of prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery activities in the county as they relate to disasters and emergencies. We work collaboratively with county agencies and community stakeholders to identify hazards and mitigation opportunities; provide emergency management planning, training and exercises; engage in community outreach and preparedness activities; facilitate continuity of operations; and oversee building security and threat assessments; all while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Through innovation and empowered partnerships, OEM leads the way in emergency management excellence.Core Values
Collaboration - We develop relationships with colleagues, county agencies, regional partners and the community to achieve positive outcomes.Integrity - We are accountable/reliable and do the right things for the right reasons.Coordination - We will work with our partners, jurisdictions and agencies to make emergency management programs and policies stronger and more relevant.
Leadership - We lead by example, place trust in, and motivate others to achieve their goals.Professionalism - We represent the agency through our actions and attitude by respecting others, maintaining expertise, and always exceeding expectations.