Joel P. Aggergaard began working for the Washington State Department of Emergency Management in the 1970s and served until his untimely death in 1996. He thoroughly enjoyed his career with Emergency Management, and he was especially devoted to supporting local emergency management programs. It may be necessary to be a local emergency manager to fully appreciate the enormous contribution Joel made to local programs during the years he worked with Emergency Management. In times of stress and crisis, local emergency managers were always able to reach Joel, who was unfailingly well-informed, helpful, and interested in the challenges they were facing. He either was able to resolve their issues or made a commitment to follow up for resolution.
Joel was commended for his extraordinary work with Emergency Management and considered the “most helpful” state official by local, county, and city emergency managers across Washington State. Joel assisted with countless floods, storms, and local emergencies and was a welcome addition to any activated Emergency Operating Center during a disaster.
Joel was also an avid supporter of youth and their activities. Because of his selfless support and commitment to local emergency management directors, WSEMA has chosen to provide an educational scholarship commemorating Joel in the hope that others who possess his worthy qualities and have a personal dedication to achievement may have expanded opportunities.