GovernmentPolice/FireThe White Plains Examiner

Former Legislator Wishnie Named Emergency Services Commissioner

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Richard Wishnie

Former Westchester County Legislator and current Acting County Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie has been named as the department’s permanent commissioner – removing the ‘acting’ title after more than a year of service in that role.

Wishnie had held the acting post since November 2020 when County Executive George Latimer named him and Susan Spear to lead the county’s emergency services response.

“Richard is a true Westchester public servant. He has dedicated his life to serving the people of this county, and in this past year, has shown how far his service is willing to go,” Latimer stated. “As the county worked to combat and mitigate COVID-19, Richard worked closely with the team at DES to ensure all municipalities had supplies, answers and support from our administration.”

Wishnie was elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators for six terms beginning in 1993. He retired in December 2005. Wishnie has an extensive record of public service in Westchester County. Prior to becoming a County Legislator, he served the Town of Ossining as councilman from 1976-1979 and as supervisor from 1979-1983. He has served as Chairman of the Ossining Open Door Health Centers, Westchester Health Source, the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and the Ossining Red Cross Disaster Team.

“Working in the Latimer Administration with Deputy Director Susan Spear and the dedicated team at DES has been my utmost privilege. I am thrilled to continue this role on a permanent basis so we can serve the people of Westchester,” stated Wishnie, whose appointment must be confirmed by the Board of Legislators.
The Department of Emergency Services consists of four divisions: Fire Services, Communications (60 Control), Emergency Management (OEM) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The Fire Services division is comprised of four units: fire training, fire inspection, special operations and fire prevention and protection. The division administers, coordinates and maintains the fire training program that is available to Westchester County’s 58 fire departments.

The Emergency Communications Center commonly referred to as “60 Control” provides primary dispatch services for 52 fire departments and 32 EMS agencies in Westchester. The center is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week to handle fire and EMS mutual-aid requests going in and out of the county.

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