St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services Announces Strategic Restructure

January 12, 2023

St. Mary’s County Government (SMCG) has announced a strategic reorganization of the Department of Emergency Services, to include key leadership changes.

“The Department of Emergency Services has seen tremendous growth in the past year,” said David Weiskopf, Interim County Administrator at SMCG. “The expansion of this department to include career emergency medical service (EMS) providers, as well as the opening of the new animal shelter provided the opportunity to reassess our existing structure, processes, and outcomes. This reorganization will position our team for further success, as we continue to prioritize the needs of our residents and the delivery of high-quality emergency preparedness and response services.”

The restructure includes the creation of an additional Deputy Director position for the Department, in order to improve the distribution of leadership responsibilities and to better support the recent expansion of Emergency Services.

Effective January 10, 2023, Kiersten Shea and Gerald Gardiner have been named as Deputy Directors for the Department.

Both Shea and Gardiner have worked in the St. Mary’s County Government, Department of Emergency Services since 2009. During her tenure, Shea has served as a Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor, an Accreditation Manager, and as the acting Chief for the Division of Emergency Medical Services. Gardiner has dutifully served for the past thirteen years as the Manager for the Division of Emergency Management.

Additionally, both have extensive volunteer experience as active members and leaders in local fire and EMS organizations. The two Deputies will oversee the Department, following the resignation of Steve Walker who served as Director of the Department for the past four years.

“The commissioners have every confidence in Ms. Shea and Mr. Gardiner’s ability to lead the Department through this time of growth and change,” said Commissioner President James R. Guy. “The needs of our citizens will continue to be our top priority through this transition, and we will ensure that services for the community remain uninterrupted. We wish Mr. Walker the best and are thankful for his leadership through the recent expansion of Emergency Services.”

Other key leadership developments for the Department of Emergency Services include the recent announcement of Dr. Jason Finkelstein as the new Jurisdictional Medical Director for St. Mary’s County.

The Department of Emergency Services is currently hiring for several open positions, including Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and Dispatchers. View all current vacancies and apply at