DEMA director retires, new agency chief chosen

DOVER — Delaware Emergency Management Agency Director Jamie Turner will step down after 13 years on the job, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced Monday.

His replacement has already been selected.

Mr. Turner will be followed by Abel J. Schall Jr.

Mr. Turner previously worked as a firefighter and held a post with the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association.

Abel J. Schall

Abel J. Schall

“Jamie Turner has dedicated much of his life to the service of our citizens,” Gov. Jack Markell said in a prepared statement.

“His impact on our public safety community extends beyond his years as DEMA director. He has touched hundreds of firefighters as an instructor at the Delaware Fire School and as DVFA executive secretary.

“He has served his community of Clayton as a member of the fire department since 1966. The citizens of our great state are forever grateful for his commitment to public safety.”

Mr. Schall is the chief of Newark’s Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder. He has 20 years experience beginning as a volunteer in Illinois with the Kane County Office of Emergency Management. He joined Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder in 1999 and has served as chief since 2013.

He has been involved in responses to incidents such as the Interstate 95 MCI/tour bus crash, a tornado response and a semi-truck accident which led to 20 million bees flying free.

He has received multiple awards and holds numerous fire certifications from the National Fire Professional Association.

“AJ brings the expertise and experience needed to lead DEMA, coordinate with our county and municipal emergency management officials and partner with FEMA,” department secretary Lewis Schiliro said.

“He is well-respected within the public safety community and is a proven leader with the skills necessary to handle an event that could impact our state.”

Mr. Schall will begin in his new job on Aug. 24.

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