Michaela Foody specializes in emergencies. As a Saint Michael's College (SMC) alum, she served on the SMC Fire and Rescue squad before joining the University of Vermont Medical Center as an Emergency Communications Specialist. Now, amid a global pandemic, she began a new job as Milton's Public Safety Director.
Foody started on April 27 and moved to full-time at the position on May 4. As the Public Safety Director, Foody works with the heads of service for the Milton Police Department, Fire Department and Rescue to coordinate budgets and operational agendas. She is also in charge of the office of emergency management where her role is to respond and mitigate emergencies such as storms or weather. "Getting the town back up and running," Foody explained. In this case, she's jumping into a pandemic.
About 70 percent of Foody's focus is on COVID-19, she said—applying for federal funding grants for EMS services (fire, rescue and police) and coordinating with Town public safety heads, among other projects. At the same time, she's learning the ropes and getting to know the town of Milton.
While a large part of her job is responding and mitigating emergencies, Foody also works on preventative measures. For storms or weather events requiring emergency assistance, preventative measures could mean putting response systems in place beforehand, making Public Works improvements or ensuring stores of emergency supplies. But how do you conduct preventative measures in a pandemic like COVID-19?
Foody thinks Vermont did well to initiate measures early to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. "I think the Governor's office has done a good job with that," said Foody. "Using PPE [personal protective equipment], social distancing, and making sure we can keep everyone safe while keeping ourselves safe is something we're all still learning. This pandemic has taught us a lot about how we prepare for health emergencies in the future."
Currently, Foody is applying for grants for federal funding to help pay for PPE for Milton Fire, Rescue and Police. She's also designing a new ambulance for Milton Rescue which she's hopeful will be approved.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of the team, protecting the citizens of Milton and helping people learn about their own safety," she said.