New director named for county’s Department of Emergency Managment

After six years, Jason Biermann has stepped aside but will stay in Snohomish County. Lucia Schmit will move in from Seattle.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

EVERETT — Seattle’s emergency planning coordinator, Lucia Schmit, has been hired to run Snohomish County’s Department of Emergency Management.

Schmit will take the reins as director on Nov. 28. She has been an emergency manager for 20 years, working at the local, state, federal and international levels. Schmit is taking over for Jason Biermann, who held the position since 2016, but recently took a job as a policy advisor in the county executive’s office.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers appointed Schmit, and the County Council confirmed the appointment unanimously last Tuesday.

“As we’ve seen over the last few years, Snohomish County’s Department of Emergency Management is a vital tool to help us respond to any disaster, from a global pandemic to floods and winter storms,” Somers said. “Lucia will be a great asset as we work to make Snohomish County even more resilient and prepare ourselves for any future emergencies.”

The Emergency Management Department has 22 full-time employees, and its 2023 budget totals $22.7 million. Schmit will earn an annual salary of $157,462.

She got her start working for the state of Virginia’s Emergency Management Department before moving to the federal level. She went on to work in emergency management for the U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA.

“Snohomish County Emergency Management has a stellar reputation, and I’m looking forward to leading the team,” Schmit said. “Whether it is a hyper-local disaster or a global emergency, we will partner with our residents to respond, recover, and prepare.”

In her predecessor’s tenure, Snohomish County became one of the first jurisdictions in the United States to use its emergency management system to respond to the opioid pandemic. Somers said the decision broke down “organizational silos,” allowing for a better approach. In 2019, the county received one of eight national awards of FEMA’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program under Biermann’s leadership.

She is the third director since the department was created 17 years ago.

Kayla J. Dunn: 425-339-3449;; Twitter: @KaylaJ_Dunn.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Photo by David Welton
A federal grant will help pay for the cost of adding a charging station to the Clinton ferry terminal.
Federal money to help electrify Clinton ferry dock

The Federal Transit Administration awarded state ferries a $4.9 million grant to help electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

Community Transit is leasing a 60-foot articulated BYD battery electric bus this year as an early step in the zero emission planning process. (Community Transit)
Community Transit testing 60-foot electric bus

The agency leased the BYD K11M for $132,000 this year as the first step in its zero-emission planning process.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amid patient woes, CHC of Snohomish County staffers push for a union

Doctors and nurse practitioners are worried about providers being shut out from clinical decisions, which hurts patient care.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Public school enrollment still down, even as rural districts grow

Smaller districts in Snohomish County seem to be recovering more quickly — and gaining students — than their urban counterparts.

A rack with cards bettors can use to choose their own numbers to purchase lottery ticket on a counter at a market. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Washington resident hits $754.6 million Powerball jackpot

The state lottery is expected to release the location where the ticket was sold today.

Granite Falls
Man shot near Granite Falls; assailants at large

Few details were provided about the shooting Tuesday morning in the 15000 block of 116th Street NE.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A holiday for Lunar New Year, a return of green and white license plates

It’s Day 29. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

FILE - This scanning electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows rod-shaped Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. U.S. health officials are advising people to stop using the over-the-counter eye drops, EzriCare Artificial Tears, that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday night, Feb. 1, 2023, sent a health alert to physicians, saying the outbreak includes at least 55 people in 12 states. One died. (Janice Haney Carr/CDC via AP)
Eye drops linked to Snohomish County man’s death

Amid dozens of non-fatal infections, federal health leaders this week urged people to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears.

Switzerland delegate Markus Herrmann listens while 12th grade students speak with him during a special event set up for their AP Comparative Government class at Glacier Peak High School on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
European delegates talk American culture with Glacier Peak students

Representatives from 18 different EU countries made a stop in Snohomish during their US tour.

Most Read