Clarksville, TN – Last summer, an explosion at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in Pennsylvania sent, according to WHYY, “3,271 pounds of the dangerous hydrofluoric acid” into the atmosphere. While the refinery still burned, Lynn Fisher arrived on the scene as the response and emergency operations center manager. On May 18th, 2020 Fisher will arrive at Austin Peay State University (APSU) as the institution’s first Director of Emergency Management.
“This position is vital to the University in the way of preparing for, responding to, recovering from and mitigating against all natural and man-made hazards,” Michael Kasitz, APSU assistant vice president for public safety, said. “It is important that we have personnel dedicated to reaching out and helping the community prepare for all risks.”
The Director of Emergency Management position was developed before the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, but Fisher will now apply her years of emergency management work to this and future situations at the University. For the last nine years, she served as community preparedness program manager for Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management.
“The experience that Lynn brings to Austin Peay State University is so unique,” Kasitz said. “Her work in Philadelphia at the Office of Emergency Management includes responses to large disasters, operations during special events, community outreach and programming, partnerships with other agencies, disaster recovery planning and so many other things.”
Fisher also served as the public information officer and communication manager for the refinery disaster. During her time in Philadelphia, she was the command post manager for several major events, including the Philadelphia Marathon, the Thanksgiving Parade and the Women’s March. She also coordinated the initial response to the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak train derailment that resulted in eight deaths and more than 200 injuries.
“I am excited to bring my emergency management experience to Austin Peay State University to support the efforts that the Public Safety team started many years ago,” Fisher said. “Before becoming an emergency manager, I was a teacher, and I value the magic of a campus. I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had before coming to APSU, I think it will help make the program stronger.”
In 2018, Fisher was recognized by the mayor of Philadelphia for her work to create a culture of preparedness and resilient communities. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Appalachian State University.