Meet the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) leadership below.
David (Randy) Padfield
Randy Padfield has more than 30 years of experience in emergency services delivery and training, including fire/rescue, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and emergency management/incident management disciplines.
Prior to his tenure at PEMA as Deputy Director for Response, he was the Director of the Public Safety Training Center at Harrisburg Area Community College. Padfield is also a member of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team where he serves as a Task Force Leader and member of the National US&R Incident Support Team, qualified as both a Division/Group Supervisor and Air Operations Branch Director.
He has been involved in numerous local, regional, state and federal responses throughout his career including the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy.
Padfield is a certified fire service instructor through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner as well as a contract instructor for the National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute, where he specializes in NIMS All-Hazards Incident Command System (ICS) position-specific training programs. He is a Certified Flight Paramedic (FP-C) through the Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification (BCCTPC) and has worked as a per diem Flight Paramedic for the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Life Lion Critical Care Transport program for 22 years.
He is a native of St. Clair, Schuylkill County and currently lives in Cumberland County with his wife and their two children.
PEMA Executive Deputy Director
Jeffrey Thomas's public service career began in the 1970s as a municipal police officer in Northeastern Pennsylvania and then as a uniformed officer in what was then the commonwealth's only maximum security institution for the criminally insane.
Thomas was part of the emergency response team at the institution, and was also active as a volunteer in the fire and ambulance departments in his municipality.
In the late 1980s, his career shifted from the uniformed officer ranks to a more administrative track when he became the labor relations chief at the same institution where he had served as the union president. His career progressed to increasing responsibility in administrative and leadership positions such as Labor Relations Analyst at what is now the state Department of Human Services; Labor Relations Chief at PennDOT; Director of Administrative Services at DMVA; Special Assistant to the Secretary of Administration; and Deputy Director for Administration at PEMA before his retirement in 2010.
Thomas also has experience in the labor relations arena in the private sector. Thomas was extremely excited to return to PEMA as the executive deputy director and to serve the citizens of the commonwealth as he works to ensure that PEMA is the best emergency management agency in the country.
Deputy Director for Preparedness
Stephen Bekanich is the Deputy Director for Preparedness at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency since December 2017. Prior to assuming that role, Bekanich served as the Bureau Director for Recovery and Mitigation at PEMA. He has been in the public safety field for 33 years and was previously employed with Luzerne County government for 25 years.
During his time with Luzerne County, Bekanich served in a variety of position to include EMA Coordinator and Operations and Training Officer; gaining valuable experience coordinating and responding to a multitude of natural and human-caused emergencies. He has received professional certification from the International Association of Emergency Managers as a Certified Emergency Manager and also was previously certified by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management as a Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner.
As deputy director, Bekanich has the responsibility for the overall operation of the Preparedness Deputate and the Bureaus of Planning, Training and Exercise and Technological Hazards and the management of its staff and statewide activities related to preparedness, training, and planning activities. Bekanich acts as a designated Governor's Authorized Representative with full authority to conduct all functions of the federal/state disaster recovery and mitigation programs on behalf of the governor.
Bekanich is also employed as a Police Officer in Courtdale Borough, Luzerne County, and has been a certified police officer for the last 28 years. He has also been a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Certified Emergency Medical Technician for the last 33 years and a bomb detection dog (K9) handler for the last 12 years.
Deputy Director for 911
Jeffrey Boyle is responsible for the strategic planning, policy development, and management of a comprehensive statewide 911 program. Partnering with the commonwealth's 911 community, Boyle has made significant contributions that have allowed PEMA to meet the legislative requirements of Act 12 of 2015 and to facilitate the commonwealth's transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911).
Under Boyle's leadership, the 911 Office has distributed over $1 billion in support of county 911 operations. Many needed reforms have been implemented in the 911 Program to streamline business processes and improve oversight of 911 funding.
A new grant program has been implemented to incentivize consolidation/regionalization of 911 systems, address aging infrastructure within county 911 centers, and enhance GIS data across Pennsylvania. New requirements for Pennsylvania 911 systems related to training, certification, quality assurance, administration, and GIS have been adopted. The 911 Office is currently coordinating Pennsylvania's transition from a county-based legacy 911 system to a statewide NG911 system.
Boyle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the California University of Pennsylvania. He has seventeen years of experience in progressively responsible accounting, audit, and information technology management positions with the commonwealth.
Timothy W. Sevison
Deputy Director for Response
Timothy W. Sevison has an extensive background in emergency and disaster preparedness and response. Prior to joining the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Sevison was a military planner with the Pennsylvania National Guard focusing on homeland response and domestic operations. He is currently an adjunct faculty member for Pennsylvania State University and Millersville University in homeland security and emergency management. From 2007 to 2011, he served as a deputy director with PEMA and prior to that was the Senior Deputy Fire Chief and Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Sevison has been involved with emergency and disaster activities at the local, state and federal level for over 35 years, including response to numerous state and federally declared disasters. He was active with the DHS/FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue Response System since its inception, serving as a Task Force Leader for Pennsylvania, as well as a member of the DHS/FEMA US&R Command and General Staff working group. He served on various committees in Pennsylvania post 9/11 and was actively involved in the development of the in-state search and rescue system, the regional task force model for Pennsylvania, as well as development of enabling policies and legislation. Sevison has been in the U.S. military for nearly 40 years, with primary responsibilities in Fire and Emergency Services and Domestic Operations and continues to serve with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
Sevison earned a Doctor of Science (D.Sc) in disaster science and emergency management from Jacksonville State University, a Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S) in homeland security/public health preparedness from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) from Eastern University.
Tim and his wife Joey live in the greater Harrisburg area.
Paula J. Wilcox
Deputy Director for Administration
Paula Wilcox serves the citizens of Pennsylvania with more than 30 years of Business Administration and HR experience. Having served as the Director of Administrative Services within the Office of the Governor for nearly 12 years, she joined the PEMA team as the Deputy Director for Administration in January of 2018.
Wilcox attended Williamsport Area Community College for Business Accounting and brings many years of fiscal, accounting and HR experience from the private sector with her.
She and her husband, Alan, relocated from Bradford to Dauphin County in 2006.