Tricia Chappell


35 years


Ms. Chappell provides technical expertise in project management; emergency management; emergency planning; exercise design (MEPP certified), delivery, facilitation; and risk management. Her areas of responsibility include obtaining input for exercise strategy and developing exercise plans, scheduling, supporting growth, conducting, and evaluating exercises, conducting studies analysis, prevention, planning, and related tasks. She has a distinguished record for numerous disaster response operations deployments, providing leadership, management, and supervision to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Chesapeake Fire Department (CFD) over the past 35 years.

Before joining The Olson Group Team, Ms. Chappell had a successful 11-year career with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). Her most recent assignment with VDEM was serving as the single all-hazards planner for the twenty-five Hampton Roads localities that make up VDEM Region 5 (July 2015-May 2017). Her duties and responsibilities included: providing all-hazards plan development guidance; assisting in the coordination of disaster planning activities and initiatives between local/state/federal partners; reviewing local government and institutions of higher learning (colleges & universities) Emergency Operations Plans (EOP’s) Crisis Emergency Management Plans (CEMP’s) to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements, and incident response and recovery operations.

Ms. Chappell’s initial assignment with VDEM was as the sole Hurricane Program Planner for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Emergency Management (November 2006-July 2015). Her responsibilities included developing and coordinating the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan (COVEOP) Hurricane Annex with local/regional Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and evacuation and shelter coordination and planning initiatives. Ms.  Chappell also provided incident response and recovery operations support and public education and outreach.

Before joining State Government, Ms. Chappell had a distinguished 21-year career with Chesapeake Fire Department (November 1985-November 2006), where she served as a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT; Assistant Public Information/Fire Life Safety Education Specialist; Fire Inspections Program Specialist; Emergency Management Technician; and Training Operations Specialist.

As Chesapeake’s first full-time dedicated EM position (Emergency Management Technician) under the direction of the Emergency Management Coordinator (Fire Chief), Ms. Chappell was responsible for developing the City’s first formal Emergency Management program which included: supervision of support personnel; budget development/management; Emergency Operations Plan development/adoption; training and exercise development; education/outreach program development/delivery; oversight/management of EOC during response & recovery operations. Ms. Chappell’s final assignment with CFD was Training Operations Specialist under the direction of the Director of Training. Her responsibilities included: providing budget oversight, conducting research on best-practice curriculum & instruction, coordinating recruit schools and in-service training, and supervising recruit and support personnel.