Sue Henry selected as new chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency

·2 min read

Calgary Emergency Management Agency deputy Chief Sue Henry has been chosen to replace the outgoing head of the organization.

Henry's current boss, CEMA chief Tom Sampson, announced last month that he would leave the post after 35 years of service with the city.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi hailed the selection of Henry as Sampson's successor as the best possible choice after a search process that drew distinguished applicants from all over the world.

"You are going to be so extraordinary," Nenshi said to the new CEMA chief at an event on Friday at the Emergency Operations Centre.

As second in command of CEMA, 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, [making it] one of the leading six heavy urban search-and-rescue teams in Canada," the city said in a release.

"Henry has played key leadership roles in the 2013 southern Alberta floods, wildfires in Chuckegg Creek, Fort McMurray and Slave Lake … and most recently supporting the city's response to COVID-19."

Before joining CEMA, Henry was a firefighter, rising to the rank of assistant deputy chief. She has worked with the city since 2001.

Henry thanked Sampson for his years of service to the city.

"Calgary is a better place for your dedication and commitment," she said.

Henry said she's excited to take helm of an agency with such a talented team of people committed to keeping Calgarians safe.

"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."

Sampson's last day will be Nov. 30. Henry will begin as the new chief on Dec. 1.