Web Analytics
Join WITI Today!

arrowSan Diego HOME







Member Login



I forgot my password

Join WITI Today!

WITI San Diego Regional Network
The Women of First Response -- Technology and Career Challenges

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
11:45 - 1:30 p.m.

Since 9/11 when the American landscape changed in many ways, the women of first response have had to adapt and change as has their technical acumen. In San Diego we are fortunate to have hundreds of women working in first response. Women who are trained to respond to tremendous disasters such as the recent wildfires and daily nuisances and tragedies, and women who train others. Local law enforcement, fire departments and federal agencies work together to keep us safe. Meet the women of first response and hear their personal stories of a Southern California we only hear about in the news.

About Our Speaker(s)

Fadi Essmaeel, M.D. CEM

Dr. Essmaeel grew up in Jerusalem, and after completion of his medical studies he was recruited to mandatory five year service with the Israeli Medical Corps. As a first responder and incident commander he participated in several historical landmarks including the Gulf War, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Dr. Essmaeel immigrated to the U.S. and due to his background, the U.S. Department of State honored him with a National Interest Status. Dr. Essmaeel is now a U.S. Citizen.

Dr. Essmaeel serves as Homeland Security Director for U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. In this capacity he designs and directs educational programs pertaining to management of risk, emergencies and disasters, mainly CBRN-warfare and terrorism. Trainees represent all government jurisdictions and a wide variety of private sector industries. Central to his official duties, Dr. Essmaeel facilitates troubleshooting for emergency response providers and policymakers, and supervises case management for service members and veterans of U.S. Armed Forces. He has authored several papers and served as an instructor and course designer for several entities including the DHS, local government agencies, healthcare organizations, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and various academic, scientific and trade organizations.

Dr. Colleen Buono

Dr. Colleen Buono completed her Emergency Medicine Residency and was chief resident at UCSD Medical Center, also serving as a crew member for Mercy Air. Dr. Buono developed and completed the UCSD Emergency Medical Services and Disaster Medicine Fellowship. She joined the faculty in July 2006 and currently serves as the Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness & Response and as the Base Hospital Medical Director for the UC San Diego Health System.

Additionally, Dr. Buono is active in pre-hospital policy and procedure, serving on multiple EMS and Disaster Preparedness Committees. Dr. Buono works as one of the Medical Directors for the San Diego County Metropolitan Medical Strike Team (MMST) for response to terrorist acts in San Diego. Dr. Buono is the Chief Medical Officer for the San Diego Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT CA-4) and is part of the San Diego Urban Search and Rescue (CA TF-8).

Dr. Buono is interested and active in disaster preparation, response, and education, as well as EMS and Disaster research. Her specific research interest lies in information technology in disaster response utilizing the Wireless Internet Information System for medical Response to Disasters (WIISARD) to improve the quality, quantity, and utility of the data in a mass casualty scenario. She has traveled to the Ukraine, Mississippi, Louisiana with DMAT, New Orleans with USAR, and co-directed the medical response at Qualcomm Stadium during the 2007 San Diego Wildfires.

Susanna Rudy
Susanna Rudy is a Registered Nurse currently working at the University of California San Diego Medical Center. She has 23 years of Critical Care nursing. She holds a Master's Degree in Forensic Science and has been a presenter for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences as well as at the International Academy of Forensic Sciences in Hong Kong. She was recently accepted to the Vanderbilt School of Nursing Emergency Nurse Practitioner Master’s Program. She began her training in courses related to Homeland Security in 2001 and has instructor/trainer certification (s) in the areas of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives through the CDP, CTOS, TEEX and HHS to assist with the Emergency Preparedness and Response training and education for the University of California, County EMS training as well as a contracted Controller/Evaluator for South Carolina State wide Emergency Preparedness Plan.

In addition, she is an active volunteer for International Relief Teams located here in San Diego since 1996. She has travelled internationally as an educator of Advanced Cardiac Life Support as well as participated in planned and emergency medical relief missions, and joint missions to Indonesia with the USNS Mercy ship. She is a Supervisory Nurse with CA-DMAT under the NDMS system as well as a MAC strike team nurse under the direction of the Health and Human Services.

Therese Rymer
Ms. Rymer is director of Emergency Preparedness & Response for UC San Diego Health System. Thérèse has been with UCSD since 1976 holding positions in Family Practice, Employee Health and Occupational & Environmental Medicine. She is the Deputy Commander of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT-CA4) under the National Disaster Medical System. Thérèse holds a Masters in Advanced Studies in the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations from UCSD. She is a recognized expert in the development and coordination of hospital and regional disaster plans. She has responded to number of large scale disasters in the United States and worked in humanitarian relief efforts in the international community. Ms. Rymer is a nurse practitioner.

Sandi Lehan
Ms. Lehan has a combined military and law enforcement career of over 20 years. In 2009 Sandi Retired from the San Diego Police Department and accepted the position as Homeland Security/ Force Protection/ First Responder Liaison at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific where she utilized her operation & technical experience and expertise to reach out to the First Responder/ War Fighter community, helping them to collaboratively and innovatively advance technologies in their Regions. Currently Sandi is the President/CEO of First Responder Connections, LLc and the membership chair for the ASIS International Women In Security National Ad-Hoc Council, she sits on the ASIS International San Diego Chapter Board of Directors and she is the founder and first Chairwoman of the ASIS International San Diego Chapter Women in Security Group.

Event Date and Venue

This event will be held from 11:45 - 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at:

    Fish and Richardson Law Offices
    12390 El Camino Real
    San Diego, California 92130

Pre-registration for this event is closed and on-site registrations will not be accepted.

Contact Us

For more info regarding registration or event details, please contact Carey Adolfsson ([email protected]).

For more details about pre-registration, contact Tech Support.