The Independence Center (The IC) has hired Nicholas DeSutter as its Emergency Preparedness Planner. DeSutter brings a depth of information to the position, which will require engagement with The IC’s consumers, the community, as well as county and city officials around the issues of emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

“The emergencies of the last few years made hiring an Emergency Preparedness Planner imperative,” said Patricia Yeager, CEO of The IC. “It is key that people with disabilities are included in the planning of emergency responses. We saw great improvements in the Black Forest Fire, but there is still more to be done.”Nick Desutter Emergency Preparedness

DeSutter will work to advocate for and establish a Consumer Advisory Group to assist prior to, during, and after an emergency. He will be responsible for providing training and advocacy activities to support local governments in the eight counties The IC services to enhance their understanding of ADA complexities as it relates to inclusive disaster planning and management. DeSutter will also work with individuals with disabilities and their families to develop emergency plans through one on one and group trainings.

“The IC, local government and our greater community truly have a unique opportunity to become a national leader in defining what the preparedness model looks like for citizens who have disabilities,” DeSutter said. “I am excited to work with all our stakeholders and collectively advance our overall preparedness.”

Over the past 10 years, DeSutter served in various leadership positions in the U.S. Army including Reconnaissance Platoon Leader in Baghdad and Troop Executive Officer in Maysan Province, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as a Squadron Logistics Officer in Al Asad, Iraq, during Operation New Dawn. DeSutter most recently transitioned from the Army as a Troop Commander at Ft. Carson overseeing wounded warriors and service members who have disabilities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ball State University, numerous FEMA certifications, and is pursuing graduate course studies in Emergency Management and Homeland Security at the University of Colorado-Denver.

The Independence Center is proud to have DeSutter join our team and become a resource within the community.