Calgary & Area News

City of Calgary appoints new Emergency Management Chief

CALGARY – After an international search with candidates from as far as Hong Kong, California and Texas, the City of Calgary appointed a new Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).

Susan Henry has been a Deputy Chief with CEMA since 2015, where she has been second-in-command. Henry was responsible for disaster risk reduction, community education and outreach and business continuity. She also provided leadership to Canada Task Force 2, an all-hazards disaster response team, into one of the leading six heavy urban search and rescue teams in Canada. In addition to creating national and international relationships, Henry was also responsible for the management, training, development and deployment of over 150 highly skilled volunteers.

Henry has played key leadership roles in the 2013 Southern Alberta floods, wildfires in Chuckegg Creek, Fort McMurray and Slave Lake, the flooding in St. John, and most recently supporting The City’s response to COVID-19. Prior to her tenure in CEMA, Henry was a firefighter with the Calgary Fire Department, rising to the rank of Assistant Deputy Chief. She has been with the city since 2001.

“I couldn’t think of a more qualified and dedicated person to lead CEMA than Sue Henry, and an international search confirmed it,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “I know that she will keep us prepared for whatever threats may be waiting for us, and will act thoughtfully to protect Calgarians when called upon.”

Henry holds a Masters of Science in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University, is a Certified Emergency Manager with the International Association of Emergency Management, received the Medal of Honour for her role in the 2011 Slave Lake wildfires, and is a past winner of the Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award from Public Safety Canada.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to lead CEMA. CEMA is not only a talented team of emergency management and business continuity professionals, but a network of partner agencies of non-profit, private and public entities,” said Henry. “What we all have in common is a desire to help keep Calgarians safe and Calgary a great place to live.”

“I have learned so much from Chief Sampson these last years. And, while typically you would take a new leadership role in calmer conditions – that is, not in the midst of a global crisis – I am committed to continue the fight against COVID-19 and any other emergency that comes our way. There is an amazing team and Agency that make this work possible.”

Henry was born and raised in Calgary, has a passion for long-distance running and is an adventure traveler.

Chief Tom Sampson announced his retirement in early October. His last day will be Nov. 30. Henry will begin as new Chief on Dec. 1.