Ángel A. Crespo-Ortiz is a Safety, Security and Emergency Management consultant with a growing private practice. Crespo developed his expertise by being the standard for a new generation of fire chiefs and emergency managers. He has over 20 years of experience in public service and has passed through every step within the Puerto Rico Fire Department (PRFD) rank system, becoming state fire chief in 2013. Under Crespo’s command, the PRFD was the first in public opinion among local state agencies in the island. Crespo’s main concern was the complete transformation of the PRFD, implementing a reform package that entirely improved the agency’s performance.
Crespo’s innovative reform included empowering firefighters to take charge of theirs stations; therefore, 96 fire stations were remodeled and a new training facility meeting NFPA standards was built by the firefighter’s own initiative, encouraged by Crespo, creating a closer bond among them and establishing a sense of pride among the firefighter corps.
Because innovation was main concern, Crespo implemented a digital platform, facilitating fire-prevention inspections, an initiative which gave new life to the Emergency CAD communications infrastructure. He coordinated a massive fire prevention campaign with Puerto Rico’s Department of Education, creating educational material for children. This effort was translated into English and implement by the FDNY.
The other main focus of Crespo’s administration was fire prevention and efficient governance. Deaths by fire have decreased by more than 60% and incidence of fire declined by 70% under Crespo’s command. The PRFD was the Commonwealth agency with the lowest assigned budget, $68 million, yet Crespo managed to create important allegiances and associations with federal security agencies a USAR TF with 75 experts in structural collapse, Hazmat, rescue, and EMS. Such allegiances allowed for the PRFD to operate efficiently under a tight budget. For this effort, DOD recognized his professional skills in a full-scale exercise named Borinqueneer Response 2014.
In February 2016, Crespo became the first Puerto Rico’s Fire Chief in the history of Puerto Rico to manage two state agencies at the same time. Still serving as head of the Fire Department, Crespo was designated by the Governor of Puerto Rico as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (AEMEAD), as the Governor’s Authorized Representative to FEMA (GAR), the State Administrative Agent (SAA) and the Homeland Security Advisor (HSA). In addition, he was designated as State Coordinator for the 1033 Program, lead the Drought Committee, was part of the Earthquake and Tsunami Committees, part of the 9-1-1 Emergency Management Board, among others.
Representative to FEMA (GAR), the State Administrative Agent (SAA) and the Homeland Security Advisor (HSA). In addition, he was designated as State Coordinator for the 1033 Program, lead the Drought Committee, belong to the Earthquake and Tsunami Committees, be part of the 9-1-1 Emergency Management Board, among others.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PUERTO RICO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, GOBERNOR’S AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE TO FEMA (GAR), STATE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT (SAA), HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR (HSA) FEB 2016 – PRESENT
Coordinate all governmental resources of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and those of the private sector to provide the most rapid and effective services before, during and after emergency situations to ensure the protection of the life and property of citizens. Responsable for handling and complete all the procedural requirements for disasters in Puerto Rico. Responsible for the management of the State Homeland Security Grant Programs funds assigned throug the Office for Public Safety and Security (OASP), as well as other related security programs. Provide guidance to the Governor in all matters related to homeland security policy and work with State and Local all-hazards response and law enforcement agencies. In adition, serve as liason for homeland security adminsitrative and operational issues.
CHIEF, PUERTO RICO STATE FIRE DEPARTMENT, PR USA 2013-PRESENT Responsible for planning, managing, supervising, and implementind Fire and EMS programs for municipality and state EMS in order to improve and carry out policies and objectives, including new ones set forth in municipality codes, ordinances, and state fire code.
BATTALION CHIEF, PUERTO RICO STATE FIRE DEPARTMENT,PR USA- 2009-2012. Commanded all firefighting, life-saving, and fire-prevention operations in assigned district. Set up command posts at fire or accident scenes. Set up or assume multiple command posts at a single incident. Supervised overhaul and salvage operations.
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER (PIO) — 2006-2009 Coordinated the flow of information concerning corps policies and operations, and specific issues that may concern the corps. Released news information at the scene of an emergency.
FIRE PREVENTION INSPECTOR — 2002-2006 Inspected buildings in order to locate hazardous conditions and fire code violations, such as accumulations of combustible material, electrical wiring problems, and inadequate or non-functional fire exits, and identified corrective actions necessary for structures violating the Commonwealth’s fire code.
FIRE FIGHTER 1997-2002 Prevented fire damage by conducting surveys and inspections for hazard and by enforcing codes. Prepared citizens for preventing fire damage by developing and conducting educational and training programs.
Bilingual: oral and written communication in English and Spanish. Knowledge of firefighting techniques and methods, command and control techniques, fire investigation and evidence gathering techniques, firefighting training programs, training techniques and methods, firefighting public education and awareness programs, public safety theories and methods, emergency response techniques, emergency procedures, emergency first aid, and CPR
Leadership skills, including the ability to take full command at the scene of a fire, analytical and problem solving skills, decision making skills, negotiations skills, effective verbal and listening communications skills, ability to deal effectively with people in difficult situations, effective written communications skills including the ability to prepare reports, effective public relations and public speaking skills, research and program development skills, stress management skills and time management skills.
Awards and recognitions
May 2015- UNESCO PR Chapter, for his contribution at the helm of the Puerto Rico Fire Department. December 2014- Honored by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Puerto Rico Chapter, Top 10 Young Person (TOYP) for his contribution at the helm of the Puerto Rico Firefighter Corps.
May 2013- Smokey Bear Silver Award In the world of wildfire prevention there is no greater honor than to receive the national Smokey Bear Award.
August 2005- Honored by Governor of Puerto Rico with the Manuel A. Perez Award (Highest recognition given by the Governor to a government employee) for reducing to 0 fire related deaths by children in 2002 and 2003.
August 2005- Honored by Puerto Rico First Lady dedicating the International Children Day for the effort on children safety.
October 2005- Invited from the US Forest Service and the Governor of the US Virgin Islands (VI) to present a musical fire prevention program to the ST Croix, VI community.
May 2003- Participation on the Univision Cristina television show to present a program to educate children about fire prevention. (This program was selected as one of the best of this year and was retransmitted coast tom coast in a TV Special named The Best of Cristina 2003).
May 2002- Honored by the Puerto Rico Fire Department as Best Educator of the Year
May 2002- Honored by Luis Muñoz Marin High School for the work to the community.
October 2001- Honored by the Puerto Rico Fire Department as the Distinguished Fire Prevention Educator
June 2000- Honored by the Puerto Rico House of Representatives
Trainings and certifications
Fire Service Instructor, certified by Department of Education, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 2008
Weapons of Mass Destruction Radiological/Nuclear Hazardous Materials Technicians Course PER-241, conducted by NNSA/NSO, Counter Terrorism Operations Support, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2008
Weapons of Mass Destruction Radiological/Nuclear Awareness Train the Trainer Course AWR-140-1, conducted by NNSA/NSO, Counter Terrorism Operations Support, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (US Government) 2008
Incident Command: Capabilities, Planning and Response Actions(WMD/All Hazards) provided by the Center for Domestic Preparedness Anniston Alabama, Department of Home Land Security (US Government) 2008
Advanced Public Information Officer, provided by the National Emergency Training Center, Department of Home Land Security (US Government), 2007
Threat Management and Emergency Response to Rail Hijackings, provided by the Department of Transportation of United States (US Government) 2005
Transit Explosives Incident Management, provided by the Department of Transportation of the (US Government) 2005
Introduction to Incident Command Systems (ICS) 195, provided by the US Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Management Institute ICS- 100 Incident Command System, provided by the US Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Management Institute 2005
ICS- 700 Incident Command System, provided by the US Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Management Institute 2005
NIMS National Incident Manage System, provided by the US Department of Homeland Security, Emergency Management Institute 2003
Ansul co.- Design, installation, recharge and maintenance R-102 Restaurant suppression systems (40 hours) 1997
Basing Training for PR Firefighters: Fire Extinction, Investigation, and Prevention (Firefighter I & II certifications). Puerto Rico Firefighter Academy