Weather Alerts 19 View »

Panel Selected to Review Outagamie County Siren Issue

Mike Conroy

Panel Selected to Review Outagamie County Siren Issue

CREATED Sep. 5, 2013

Fox Valley Technical College Announces Independent Review Panel Concerning August 7 Storms

Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety division announced its group of expert emergency response professionals to serve on an independent review panel concerning the August 7 severe storms that left behind widespread damage throughout the region.

The college was recently selected by the Outagamie County Corporate Counsel to lead the independent review process based on its expertise in public safety and emergency management training.

College officials announced the participation of the following independent panel members:

Patricia A. Robinson, Ph.D.

Executive Dean – Public Safety

Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisconsin


Dr. Robinson oversees Fox Valley Technical College’s law enforcement, fire protection, wildland fire, and EMS programs.  She has professional experience in all four areas, having served as a sworn police officer for the City of Madison, volunteer firefighter/EMT for two southern Wisconsin departments, and a full-time firefighter, wildland firefighter, and EMT as Captain of the Sonoita-Elgin Fire Department, in Arizona.  Prior to her public service career, she served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her tenure at FVTC has included leading the development of the college’s new Public Safety Training Center at the Outagamie County Regional Airport, the centerpiece project of the college’s passage of a $66.5 million public referendum in 2012.


Jeremy J. Hansen, M.S.

Department Chair, Fire Protection Department

Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisconsin


Mr. Hansen oversees the college’s Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technician and manages fire service training for business and industry and local paid, volunteer, and paid-on-call fire departments. Jeremy is a paid-on-call member for the Town of Grand Chute where he holds the rank of Lieutenant/Paramedic. He is a member of Wisconsin Task Force 1 (WI-TF-1), which is a deployable asset in the State of Wisconsin for urban search and rescue.  Prior to accepting the position at FVTC, Jeremy worked as a firefighter/paramedic for Eau Claire Fire and Rescue and a Fire Instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  He has successfully completed the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has served a variety of state and county boards and committees.


Todd B. Kuschel

Captain and Incident Commander

Wisconsin State Capitol Police, Madison, Wisconsin


Mr. Kuschel conducts training in Emergency Management and Incident Command throughout Wisconsin for state and local officials.  Prior to his service with the Capitol Police, he was a Program and Planning Analyst for the State of Wisconsin, where he developed and coordinated a Continuity of Operations Plan for numerous state agencies.  He has prior law enforcement experience, including with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police, where he had responsibility for planning and managing large events ranging from major sporting events to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  He is a member of the Southwestern Wisconsin Incident Management Team.


James D. Austad, MPA

Oshkosh, Wisconsin


Mr. Austad currently serves as the Director of FVTC’s Paramedic Program and as an adjunct instructor.  He is a full-time Battalion Chief for the Oshkosh Fire Department, where he manages EMS operations and serves as the Assistant Emergency Management Director for the City of Oshkosh.  He has wide experience in emergency response, currently serving on the Emergency Preparedness Collaborative Operations Team for the Oshkosh School District, the Executive Council of the Fox Valley Regional Trauma Advisory Committee, and the Winnebago County Priority Dispatch QA Committee among others.


James R. Tucker

Emergency Management Consultant

Fox Valley Technical College National Criminal Justice Training Center

Seabrook, New Hampshire


Mr. Tucker has more than 20 years of experience in emergency management, security, and operations management.  He currently serves as nuclear security manager for a utility company operating the third largest commercial nuclear fleet in the nation.  He has served as a consultant to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, where he developed, managed, executed and evaluated large-scale, multi-agency exercises.  He has also security training for private-sector organizations, including Disney World, several major professional sports teams, and both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.  Mr. Tucker also served as a captain with the Portsmouth Police Department, where he oversaw the Bureau of Patrol Services and commanded a regional tactical team.


Croix E. Christenson

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Mr. Christenson brings hands-on experiences to the panel from his time with the National Weather Service and other related weather bureaus.  His roles as both a storm spotter and severe weather analytical reporter of damage assessments complement his research interests in high impact mid latitude weather events and polar vortex.  He also serves as a member of both the Colloquium and Curriculum Committees at UW-Madison for the atmospheric and oceanic science disciplines.

The purpose of the independent review is to examine emergency response procedures from August 7 and then determine best practices to enhance community safety in the event that a similar natural disaster occurs.  The final outcome will result in making recommendations to the Outagamie County Corporate Counsel based on those findings.

The independent panel will begin reviewing available information next week, and its intentions are to move along the process as expeditiously as possible to produce recommendations for the Counsel in a timely and comprehensive manner.