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Copeland has a background in firefighting, emergency management and as an elected official and comes to IDHS from the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency, where he has been administrative director since 2005. Prior to that, he was a firefighter in Wabash for 20 years, working his way through the ranks until he was named chief, and served in that capacity from 1995-99. He gave up firefighting after being elected mayor of Wabash,
Copeland earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and has a certification in professional emergency management, and fire master certifications in tactics, management, investigation, inspection and as an emergency medical technician instructor.
Until 2005, Copeland was a lifelong resident of Wabash and graduated from Wabash High School.
The IDHS Division of Emergency Response and Recovery assists local emergency response leaders who coordinate or support local incident management at major or complex emergencies or disasters. The division also assists individuals and local jurisdictions with recovery from natural or manmade disasters, in addition to coordinating mitigation programs designed to reduce the impact of future disasters on a community.