This year found emergency and public safety personnel responding not only to multiple hurricanes, but also to a global pandemic. Saint Leo University and F1RST- Florida's Forensics Institute for Research Security & Tactics, an enterprise of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, will present a special look at how officials deployed and the best practices they implemented at The Perfect Storm 2020: Navigating a Historic Hurricane Season during a Global Pandemic Symposium. The event will be held at 10 a.m. (EST), Thursday, December 17, via Zoom.

This free webinar will discuss lessons learned from public safety officials regarding their preparedness and response efforts during the current COVID-19 pandemic and what turned into the most active hurricane season in history. The symposium will provide a forum for federal, state, and local officials to exchange perspectives, ideas, and offer best practices to improve all phases of emergency management in the United States and abroad.

The event is open to the public, criminal justice and emergency management personnel, Saint Leo students, prospective students, and alumni.

The Perfect Storm 2020 symposium will feature:

  • Kevin Guthrie, deputy director, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM);
  • Dan Noah, senior meteorologist, National Weather Service;
  • Catherine Perkins, director of Emergency Management, Pinellas County;
  • John Antapasis, emergency manager, city of Tampa;
  • Dr. Ernest Vendrell, associate director, Saint Leo's Department of Public Safety Administration;
  • Dr. Wendy Nesheim, commander, Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a Saint Leo instructor; and,
  • Dr. Jesse Spearo, senior emergency management specialist, Broward County Aviation Department.

The speakers will share their extensive experience in emergency and disaster management at the symposium, which will last 2 hours with a question and answer period. Dr. Robert Diemer, director of Saint Leo's Department of Public Safety Administration, will moderate. For more information email or call (352) 588-8487.

Those interested in information about admission to Saint Leo's criminal justice and emergency management programs may email or call (352) 588-8283.

About F1RST

Florida's Forensic Institute for Research, Security and Tactics, an enterprise of the Pasco Sheriff's Office, embodies a collaborative approach between academia and practitioners, under one institute in pursuit of a common goal: shaping the future of public safety. F1RST will revolutionize training and invoke change through innovations in applied forensic science, forensic anthropology, public/private sector security, and tactics.