Harold Damron, CEM | Director
Director Harold Damron has been actively involved in emergency management since 1985. In 1991, he joined the staff of the Will County Emergency Management Agency and was appointed as its 8th director in 2007. During his career, he has helped coordinate the response and recovery efforts for eight presidentially-declared disasters and numerous other emergencies. He serves on a number of boards and task forces, including the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and the Will County Emergency Telephone System Board
Harold holds a number of emergency management professional certifications, including Certified Emergency Manager and Illinois Professional Emergency Manager. He completed Cohort 1 of FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Governors State University and is currently enrolled in the Air Command and Staff College non-resident program at the U.S. Air Force’s Air University.
In addition to his responsibilities as director, Harold has been active in various volunteer organizations for more than 30 years. He currently serves a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary. Harold and his wife are life-long residents of Will County.
Louise Vainowski | Administrative Assistant
Allison Anderson, CEM | Deputy Director
Allison graduated from Northern Illinois University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology in 2008; at which time she began her career in Emergency Management with the Village of Oak Lawn. In 2009 she joined the DuPage County Health Department’s Office of Risk and Emergency Management. In 2013 she joined Will County Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Division and in 2014 moved over to our agency.
Kathryn Fajfar | Technological Hazards Planner
Kathryn graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and a certificate in Leadership Development from Texas A&M University in 2015. She began her Emergency Management career as a volunteer in Field Services with the Will County EMA in the fall of 2015. In the summer of 2016, she was hired on as the Technological Hazards Planner for the agency. Kathryn has also joined the agency’s Hazardous Materials team since becoming a full-time staff member. In the fall of 2016, Kathryn received a certificate from IEMA in Professional Development.
Kathryn’s responsibilities include chemical emergency planning work related to chemical facilities, pipelines, railroads, and highway transportation. She is a liaison with the Will County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and its members, as well as the State Emergency Response Commission and chemical facilities within Will County. She ensures that the county, the Will County LEPC, and regulated chemical facilities are in compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to chemical emergency preparedness. She also serves as the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer, maintains incident reports and related records, and ensures that the fire departments and other emergency response organizations in the county are provided with the most up-to-date chemical information.
Maria Pergi, IPEM | Planning and Exercise Officer
Maria started at Will County EMA as an intern in 2014. She also became a volunteer for Search and Rescue at this time. She completed her Master’s in Public Health and Certification in Disaster Management in 2015 while continuing to work contractually for the agency. Upon leaving our agency, she began working for the Kane County Health Department, first as a Community Health Planner and then as Emergency Response Coordinator. She maintained her volunteer status during her time away and rejoined our agency as a full-time staff member in 2018. She also received her Illinois Professional Emergency Manager Certificate from IEMA in 2018.
Chelsea McCoy | Planning and Exercise Officer
Chelsea has a Master’s Degree in Public Safety Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration with a concentration in Homeland Security from Western Illinois University. Chelsea has a diverse and current training background within Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, Active Threat, and Homeland Security. Chelsea received her Federal Emergency Management Agency Professional Development Series Certificate in 2019. She began her time at Will County Emergency Management Agency as an intern the summer of 2019. Chelsea continued her time as a search and rescue volunteer and was hired as a full-time employee in October of 2020.
Chelsea's responsibilities include: planning and coordinating training and exercise opportunities for all units of government, private sector organizations, and other essential agencies in Will County, strengthens public preparedness initiatives by developing Emergency Action Plans for Will County buildings, generates shelter management plans for Will County residents and pets during an emergency and/or disaster, and assists with exercise development and design programs.