Joseph V. Brocato – Owner
Brocato and Associates
Joseph Brocato has over 35 years of combined public safety, homeland security and emergency management experience:
Director of Operations
Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
In the role of Director of Operations, he was responsible for the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) as well as the Maryland Joint Operations Center (MJOC) and the Regional Liaison Officer Program. During his tenure he revised the SEOC operations to more closely reflect the Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System ( NIMS).
In 2012 he oversaw a total renovation of the SEOC utilizing grant funding, thereby providing state of the art technology and procedures to include a new layout of the physical space and training of all state SEOC personnel. He oversaw the coordination of local, state and federal agencies with disaster planning and operations as well as special event planning and implementation, working as the conduit between state and federal government and local jurisdictions.
He worked closely with the Governor and his staff during disaster training, preparations and operations and commanded the state’s response to many high profile incidents such as Hurricane Sandy, among others.
Deputy Fire Chief
Baltimore City (Maryland) Fire Department
In a 30 year career, notable among the many positions held, he was the Chief of Training and Commander of the department’s Special Operations Command (SOC).
In 2004 he was tasked with creating a Type 1 regional urban search and rescue (US&R) task force utilizing homeland security grant funds. Working with regional partners and political leaders he put together a team of 150 specialists and outfitted them with state of the art rescue, haz mat and medical equipment. Additionally, with his team, he provided high level training and exercises to ensure that all members were trained and prepared for the task.
The hand-picked team consisted of rescue and haz mat specialists, paramedics, structural engineers, doctors and an incident management team. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he led the task force to Gretna and St. Bernard’s Parish, Louisiana where they conducted search and rescue as well as incident management operations.
Concurrent with his work on the US&R task force he created the department’s Special Operations Command (SOC). The command would bring together specialized units that heretofore had been spread throughout the department’s command structure and bring them together under one command “umbrella.” The SOC components consisted of technical rescue, hazardous materials teams and marine operations. Working with a hand-selected team he provided training and cross training, response parameters and a command structure that would be utilized on a variety of complex, multi-faceted emergency operations. He worked with all city agencies and the office of emergency management to ensure uniformity across all disciplines and agencies. His work as the chief of SOC also entailed special event planning and operations covering presidential visits to the Preakness and everything in between.
In 2007, Chief Brocato was asked to take over the position of Director of Training after a tragic training accident that took the life of a young recruit. He was responsible for determining what problems led to the accident as well as reviewing all department training standards, correcting the problems he uncovered and implement the necessary changes to ensure safe, effective and high quality training.
Chief Brocato put together a team of highly respected instructors who reviewed the status of the current recruit class, and under his leadership, implemented state and federal training standards. Consequently he and his team improved recruit and department training, implemented new training programs and guidelines and instituted fair and equitable disciplinary procedures. He and his team oversaw testing and selection of recruits raising standards to ensure that those selected were mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of the fire service. Additionally, working with political and labor leaders, he replaced the Firefighter Paramedic (FPA) Program with one that was more streamlined, provided more and better training and reduced administrative hurdles to recruit success.
Throughout his 35 year career Joseph Brocato has been at the forefront of public safety, emergency management and homeland security planning and operations. He has set the standard both at the local and state levels for operational planning and implementation. He has provided strong leadership during crisis situations and emergency operations as well as providing the vision to move the public and private sector forward towards being more prepared, more resilient, and functionally ready.