Government headline 

Woelfel Named Director of Emergency Communications Department

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John Woelfel has been named director of the Frederick County Department of Emergency Communications (DEC) effective August 23, 2014. Mr. Woelfel takes over the position previously filled by Clarence “Chip” Jewell, who was recently appointed by the Frederick Board of County Commissioners as director of the new Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services Division.

Mr. Woelfel has served as assistant director of Emergency Communications since January 2014 and prior to that was manager of quality assurance and the training coordinator for the department from 2005 to 2014. Earlier experience at the department included positions as shift manager (1994 to 2005), assistant shift manager (1989 to 1994), radio dispatcher and 9-1-1 call taker (1988 to 1989) and on call call-taker and radio dispatcher (1985 to 1988).

Prior to his work at the department, Mr. Woelfel served as a police officer at the Taneytown Police Department and on-call police officer at the Brunswick Police Department.

Director of the Division of Emergency Management Jack Markey said, “We are pleased to have someone with John’s dedication and wealth of professional experience step into the leadership position for this important department that affects so many lives on a daily basis. John worked his way up though the ranks of the Emergency Communications Center and has done an outstanding job of helping to identify and implement technology to better serve our citizens, as well as training and managing personnel in the center. I look forward to John helping raise the already high standards we set for carrying out our mission of connecting citizens in need and the public safety agencies that serve them.”

Mr. Woelfel is also a past president and Life Member of the Guardian Hose Company; past line officer and Life Member of Thurmont Ambulance Company; and currently president of the Maryland Emergency Number Association.

He holds certifications such as the Criminal Justice Information System, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Emergency Police Dispatch, Emergency Fire Dispatch, Emergency Telecommunications Instructor and many others.

A resident of Thurmont, Md., he is married to Brenda Woelfel and they have two children, Derek and Tara.

The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) serves as the public safety answering and distribution point for all 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency requests for assistance in Frederick County. The ECC offers both Basic 9-1-1 and Enhanced 9-1-1, which provides more specific location information on the whereabouts of a wireless caller by using latitude and longitude. Frederick County’s ECC is also one of only a handful of jurisdictions in the nation to support Text to 9-1-1, currently only for Verizon Wireless customers.

The department is responsible for the dispatch of fire, rescue and ambulance services, Frederick County Animal Control, and law enforcement including the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Brunswick City Police and the Thurmont Police Department.

Numerous non-emergency phone lines are monitored, and the center coordinates all after-hour communications for county agencies.

For more information on the Department of Emergency Communications, visit or contact Director Woelfel at 301-600-2072 or via e-mail at

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