Mark Mahoney was congratulated by Mayor Jon Mitchell, Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and city employees Monday, Dec. 19 on his retirement as emergency management director after 40 years of service to the city.
Mr. Mahoney began his career in 1976 as a volunteer with what was known then as the New Bedford Civil Defense Department.
When the position of Civil Defense Director became vacant with the retirement of Gerald R. Messier, Mr. Mahoney applied for and was appointed director by then mayor John K. Bullard in May 1989.
In October 1993, the Civil Defense Department was renamed the Emergency Management Department to more accurately reflect the department’s mission. The director’s position was renamed Director of Emergency Management.
Mr. Mahoney has overseen the operation of the city’s emergency management organization for more than 27 years, both as a standalone department and, since July 2009, as a division of the New Bedford Police Department.
In his many years as director, Mr. Mahoney has developed and maintained various city emergency plans; provided guidance and assistance to other organizations and businesses in developing their plans and coordinated response to and recovery from several emergencies and disasters, including hurricanes and blizzards.
He has also provided countless disaster preparedness presentations and training to a wide range of community organizations and groups; administered numerous emergency management and homeland security grants; and managed the public safety support services provided by emergency management volunteers.
He has made frequent emergency and disaster management-related presentations at various state and national forums, including the annual National Hurricane Conference.
He has attended numerous training programs at the Federal Emergency Management Institute in Maryland and was awarded a certificate of achievement for completion of the institute’s Professional Development Program series of courses.
Mr. Mahoney has worked with the state and federal emergency management agencies on behalf of the city for more than a dozen presidentially-declared emergencies and disasters.
He has received numerous recognitions and honors over his many years of service, including being named emergency management director of the year by both the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Northeast States Emergency Consortium.
He was one of the founding members of the Southeastern Massachusetts Emergency Management Directors Association in 1990, organized to promote and foster closer working relationships among local emergency management organizations in the Southcoast area and has served as both president and secretary of the group.
Mr. Mahoney was appointed in May 2007 as the local emergency representative to the Southeast Region Homeland Security Advisory Council, one of four regional councils created by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, in the wake of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and remains an active member.
He is retiring with all our thanks and good wishes on Dec. 24, 2016. We wish him good health, much happiness and hope he gets to sleep in during the next snowstorm.