Posted by: Rachel Racusen, Director, Public Affairs
Editor’s note: All of us at FEMA are saddened about the passing of Bob Lay, longtime Emergency Management Director in Brevard County, Florida. The following is a statement from Administrator Fugate, to whom Bob was a personal friend:
Sheree and I were deeply saddened to learn of Bob Lay’s passing earlier today. I was lucky to work closely with and learn from Bob for years, including during my time at the state and local level in Florida and here at FEMA. Like many of my colleagues, I consider him a friend, mentor and role model.More on the life and career of Bob Lay in the Orlando Sentinel, Brevard Times, and Central Florida News 13.
Bob embodied the mission of disaster management through his strong emphasis on preparedness, response and recovery. He brought a sense of true professionalism to the field and helped build a great respect for the work that first responders, emergency managers, non-profit organizations, and other members of the team do every day to protect their communities. Among his many accomplishments, he helped lead response and recovery efforts through many of Florida’s most severe hurricanes and was appointed by the Department of Defense to serve as its top point of contact for operations during Hurricane Andrew. Earlier in his career, he was a valued member of the FEMA team and remained a member of our extended family. In recent years provided FEMA with strategic counsel during his service as a key member of our National Advisory Council.
Throughout his career in Brevard County, Bob was a great friend to Florida’s Space Coast, working closely with our partners at Cape Canaveral to support many shuttle launches and missions. Bob’s passing is a tremendous loss for the people of Florida and for all of us across the emergency management community. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.