Meet the Staff

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Mario Formisano, Director

Mario oversees day-to-day operations and ensures the readiness of the forward operation assets and Emergency Operations Center (EOC). During activation of the EOC, he serves as the EOC Manager/Operations Section Chief and is the chief advisor to the County Administrator. In October 2012, Mario earned the South Carolina Certified Emergency Manager certification. In March 2017, he was sworn in as the President of the South Carolina Emergency Management Association. Mario has more than 10 years experience in emergency management working in non-profit and at the state and local level. He is a graduate of the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management. 

Matt McNamara, Deputy Director

Matt McNamaraMatt coordinates, implements, and evaluates the County’s communications systems and equipment, in the field and the E911 dispatch center. He ensures the emergency communications systems are at the highest state of readiness. During activation of the EOC, Matt serves as the Logistics Section Chief.  In January 2016, Matt earned his South Carolina Certified Emergency Manager certification. Matt has more than 15 years of experience in public safety.  Prior to working at EMD, Matt was employed by the Baltimore City Fire Department where he was a Firefighter and Paramedic.


John Place, Communications Technician

John Place Photo

John provides technical support to the E911 dispatch center and assists with the maintenance and procurement of the county’s communications equipment.  During activation of the EOC, John serves as the Communications Unit Leader (ESF-2). John is a licensed Ham Amateur Extra radio operator and oversees the county’s amateur radio club. Prior to working at EMD, John spent 35 years at the Naval Weapons Station as a Data Processing Systems Analyst.



Ian Purcell, Geographic Information Systems Analyst

Ian Purcell, GIS Analyst

Ian maintains all mapping data in support of the geographic information systems programs in the E911 dispatch center and provides cartographic expertise for incidents and public safety preparedness planning. During activation of the EOC, Ian serves as the Deputy Logistics Section Chief. Ian previously interned with the Fredericksburg Fire Department and volunteered as an EMT with the Fredericksburg Rescue Squad. Ian is a certified Remote Airman, a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician -Basic, and graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelors of Arts in Geography.


Mark Stewart, Preparedness & Recovery Specialist

Mark Stewart, Preparedness and Recovery SpecialistMark coordinates a variety of preparedness and recovery activities. He leads the annual update of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), organizes the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), administers the Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT) and serves as the County's liaison to local disaster organizations. During activation of the EOC, Mark serves as the Deputy Operations Section Chief. Prior to working at the EMD, Mark served for 23 years in the U.S. Army where he specialized in Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) detection and defense. He is currently pursuing his Associate's degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management through Central Texas College.


Theresa McKnight, Administrative Assistant

Theresa McKnight Photo

Theresa oversees a variety of administrative functions including bill payments, purchasing, and radio I.D. accountability. She is the department's liaison to several community-based groups including the Dorchester County Human Services Coalition. During activation of the EOC, Theresa serves as the Liaison Officer.  Theresa has served the residents of Dorchester County for more than 10 years at EMD.