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Posted on: July 6, 2022

Meeting the Challenge: Nevada County Invests in Emergency Services

Craig Griesbach Headshot

These days, Nevada County’s Emergency Operations Center is open an average of 50 days annually compared to just a handful of days only a few years ago. From wildfires and winter storms to extended power outages, extreme weather events are increasingly impacting our area and the County has increased its response to meet the community’s needs. Still, wildfire prevention and mitigation needs continue to grow.

To help meet these needs, Nevada County has appointed Craig Griesbach as the County’s first Emergency Services Director. Griesbach, who will oversee the Office of Emergency Services (OES) operations and team, begins in the new role on July 11th.

“We’ve ramped up our response to wildfire mitigation and emergency events, but the need for coordinated emergency services for our community continues to outpace the resources we have in place,” said Information and General Services Director Steve Monaghan. “Craig has a strong background in management, land use planning, and stakeholder engagement that will help take the County’s emergency services to the next level. We’re excited to welcome him as the Director of Emergency Services to help us face the current challenges we see as a community.”

Griesbach brings over 17 years of experience managing and leading various local government programs in the areas of land use and emergency services, and has experience collaborating with law enforcement and fire agencies. Griesbach has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership and is a graduate of the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute (NCCLI). He is a credentialed fellow of the California State Association of Counties’ Senior Executive Program and is accredited as a post-disaster assessment evaluator by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and has certifications in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

“Emergency preparedness is at the forefront of everyone's mind. How are we going to keep our families safe? How are we going to be prepared to adapt to any emergency? Do we have the resources to accomplish everything we need to do? I’m inspired to be a part of the solution to these problems in our community,” said Griesbach. “In emergencies, our firefighters and law enforcement run towards it. There’s vast complexity to emergency response in our community to protect life and property during a wildfire. Our role in OES is to support our first responders during events and to help the community prepare for and prevent future emergencies. The OES team’s quick and supportive response to the Rices Fire last week was a perfect example of this.” 

Most recently, Griesbach coordinated free green waste events where community members disposed of more than 3500 tons of storm debris before fire season.

“I believe we can make a real difference as a team to make our community safer and more resilient from all aspects, including life safety, economic resiliency, and collaboration. I'm looking forward to making a long-term positive difference in this community that I deeply love and appreciate and to being a part of the Office of Emergency Services team,” added Griesbach. 

Griesbach has served as Nevada County’s Building Director for nearly 10 years. Nevada County’s Agricultural Commissioner, Chris de Nijs, will be serving as the County’s Interim Building Director and Agricultural Commissioner as a formal recruitment for Building Director takes place. De Nijs has over 17 years of public service experience and has served as the County’s Agricultural Commissioner for over 5 years. During that time, he has played and continues to play an integral role within the County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) in implementing the agency’s initiatives, values, and vision. Chris is a 2018 graduate of the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute and earned a Senior Executive Credential from CSAC.

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