Chief Rich Granger, Deputy Fire Chief / Emergency Management Director
Rich Granger is the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Director and a Deputy Chief with the Charlotte Fire Department, overseeing Emergency Management, the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and the Charlotte Fire Department Training Division. Chief Granger joined the department in 1988, was promoted to Captain in 1995, Battalion Chief in 2001, and Deputy Chief in 2008. He became the Emergency Management Director in 2015. Chief Granger holds an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Prevention Technology from Central Piedmont Community College and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He maintains membership in the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the North Carolina Emergency Management Association (NCEMA).
Tim Hartsell, Battalion Chief / Hazardous Materials Coordinator/Interim Emergency Management Coordinator
Tim Hartsell is a Battalion Chief and the Hazardous Materials Coordinator for the Charlotte Fire Department. As the Hazardous Materials Coordinator, he acts as the liaison between the NC Division of Emergency Management and the City of Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) in the administration of our Hazardous Materials program and the NC Regional Response Team (RRT). Chief Hartsell is an appointed member of the RRT's Technical Advisory Committee, ensures CFD's compliance with the State RTT Contract, coordinates response plans, works closely with high-risk chemical facilities, and acts as the on-scene Hazardous Materials branch director in state approved missions. Chief Hartsell joined the CFD in 1995, was promoted to Engineer in 2001, Captain in 2003, and Battalion Chief in 2015. Chief Hartsell has served in a variety of roles in the department working as an officer at both Hazmat Stations and serving as a Training Officer for the CFD Training Academy. He has served in multiple roles of the North Carolina Association of Hazardous Material Responders, including President. He is a North Carolina Qualified Instruction in multiple disciplines including Firefighter I and II, Rescue Technician, Live Fire, Hazmat Technician, Fire Officer III, and Instructor Methodology. Chief Hartsell holds an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Prevention Technology from Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Safety Engineering Technology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).
Vacant, Emergency Management Coordinator
Elaney Katsafanas, Emergency Management Planner
Elaney serves as an Emergency Management Planner for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, and is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Elaney serves as the health, medical, and human services liaison for the department, and is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #6 Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing and Human Services, #8 Public Health and Medical Services, #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources, #14 Long Term Community Recovery, and #15 External Affairs. Additionally, Elaney serves as the functional lead for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg All-Hazards Advisor Committee (AHAC), the Joint Health Operations Committee (JHOC), health care facility review plans, the department's information technology programs, the CharMeck Alerts emergency notification system and the overall readiness of the Mecklenburg County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Ms. Katsafanas maintains a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Relations from Central Michigan University and is a graduate of the Leading Educating and Developing (LEAD) program at the University of Virginia. Elaney maintains membership in the North Carolina Emergency Management Association (NCEMA) and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Elaney joined the department as a Grants Administrator in 2015, after previously serving in the public, private, and non-non-profit sectors as a public relations, risk management, and crisis management professional.
Ben Wooten, Emergency Management Planner
Ben Wooten serves as an Emergency Management Planner for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, and is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Ben is the primary infrastructure and private industry liaison for the department, and is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #1 Transportation, #2 Communications, #3 Public Works and Engineering, #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources, #12 Energy, and #14 Long Term Recovery. Additionally, he coordinates damage assessment, debris management, dam emergency action plan review, and the fixed nuclear facility and radiological emergency preparedness programs. Ben is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science in 2006 and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, receiving his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) in 2014. Mr. Wooten is certified as an Executive Level Emergency Manager with the State of North Carolina and holds his Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) designation with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Ben joined the department after previously serving as a healthcare emergency manager for a major health system in the Piedmont-Triad and brings over 10 years of experience in the fire service.
Hannah Panicco, Emergency Management Planner - Public Educator
Hannah Panicco serves as an Emergency Management Planner and Public Educator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office. As an Emergency Management Planner, Hannah is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Hannah is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #2 Communications, #15 External Affairs, and #16 Volunteer and Donations Management. As the Public Educator, Hannah is tasked with coordinating vital community-based emergency preparedness instruction for greater Charlotte and Mecklenburg County businesses and residents. Hannah serves as the primary educational instructor for the Charlotte Fire Department Emergency Management Office, and as such, she is responsible for developing and preparing emergency preparedness programs targeted for community members, creating educational visual aids, attending and participating in professional and community meetings related to emergency preparedness, and creating initiatives to generate interest in disaster preparedness. Hannah received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Emergency Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2017, Hannah joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office after working as an Emergency Management Program Coordinator at Central Piedmont Community College and a Training and Exercise Specialist at UNCC.
Matt Brown, Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Logistics Planner
Hal Wishon, Financial Administrator - Department of Homeland Security Programs and Grants
Hal Wishon oversees Emergency Management's administrative functions including budget development and expenditure tracking. He serves as the financial controller for all grant programs associated with the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) as well as other Federal and State grant programs involving emergency response agencies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and within the multi-country urban area. Mr. Wishon has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Queens University in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, and a BA from UNCC in Political Science and History. He has served with the Charlotte Fire Department/Emergency Management Office since 1986. Major disasters in which he has been involved include Hurricanes Hugo, Fran, and Floyd, the ChemWay Fire, the 1994 Airplane Crash, Steele Creek Tornado, Southside Tornado, and 25-30 Fixed Nuclear Facility Drills.
Alisha Rebman, Grants Administrator
Alisha serves as the Grants Administrator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, overseeing all Homeland Security Grant Programs (HSGP) including the Charlotte Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Emergency Management Preparedness Grant Program (EMPG). Additionally, she supports projects and initiatives within the urban area's ten (10) county operational area, including oversight of the Urban Area Working Group (UAWG). Alisha received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) in 2010 and a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Emergency Management from UNCC in 2012. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Grant Writing from the University of Georgia since 2015.