Who We Are
David Halstead, FPEM
Senior Homeland Security and Emergency Management Consultant
David Halstead, Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM), has over 40 years of experience as an emergency responder and emergency manager and currently serves as IEM Senior Homeland Security and Emergency Management Consultant. Since 2012, Mr. Halstead has provided advising and subject matter expertise to firms working with FEMA, and has developed, researched, and updated documents, training modules, and guidance in such areas as resource typing, the National Incident Management System (NIMS), and Quality Review Board (QRB) guidance. He has also provided technical assistance to regional FEMA offices, participated in national exercises, and has taught courses on U.S. Army emergency operations. Prior to his work with IEM, Mr. Halstead served as both the Deputy Director and Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and provided technical support to New York State in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He is currently a CNN contributor on matters related to Hurricane Irma.
Mr. Halstead’s career began in 1970 as a volunteer member of the Fern Park Fire Department, He then moved on to the City of Altamonte Springs (FL) Fire Department, where he worked from 1972 to 1998 and retired as Assistant Chief. In October 1990, Mr. Halstead was selected to serve as the City of Altamont Spring’s Emergency Manager. In that role, he re-wrote the city’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and conducted training and exercises.
In 1990, Mr. Halstead also became a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA) Statewide Disaster Committee. Mr. Halstead later became Chair, and continued his work on the committee until 2004. After Hurricane Andrew, on behalf of the FFCA Statewide Disaster Committee, Mr. Halstead updated the FFCA plan to include typing of fire and EMS resources for statewide mutual aid deployment and for Advanced life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) rescue units. He also worked with the state Department of Health as the Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8 (Health and Emergency Medical) lead in the development of a plan that included typing and qualifying resources for statewide deployment.
Upon retiring from fire service in 1998, Mr. Halstead began work for FDEM, where he served as the Emergency Services Branch Chief of the State Unified Command during the wildfire disasters of 1999, 2000, and 2001; Hurricane Irene; and the summer hurricane season of 2004 (Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne). As Branch Chief, he provided oversight for law enforcement, fire, search and rescue, health/hospital/EMS, and hazardous materials response operations. He also supported disaster operations in the state EOC during many other disasters. In 2002, Mr. Halstead was recognized as “Emergency Management Professional of the Year” by the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association.
Mr. Halstead was appointed by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to serve as the first Chief for the Office of Domestic Preparedness for the state. He was later appointed by the Director of Emergency Management to serve as the FDEM Bureau Chief for Preparedness and Response, and ultimately served as the Deputy Director and Director of FDEM under two governors. He retired from state service in June 2012.