The Winthrop Harbor Emergency Management Agency (WHEMA) is dedicated to providing top-quality services through well-trained volunteers from the community it serves.
WHEMA members are volunteer emergency officers, who serve as a support unit for all Village departments, including police, fire, and public works. WHEMA Officers may be seen assisting at a traffic accident scene by directing traffic and getting names of witnesses. Other duties include helping at the scene of major fires, water main breaks, floods or other natural disasters. WHEMA Officers are also trained as weather spotters, on the look out for dangerous weather conditions when the need arises. They also undergo training for Homeland Security matters, and a variety of related duties and responsibilities.
First formed in Winthrop Harbor during WWII as a "Civil Defense" unit, the unit later evolved into being a part of the Police Department, operating under authority of and in compliance with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act of 1975. Formerly designated as the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA), in 2011 the unit was re-designated as as the Winthrop Harbor Emergency Management Agency (WHEMA) to become more closely aligned with county, state and federal emergency management agencies.
The Winthrop Harbor EMA management team consists of Police Chief Joel Brumlik as the EMA Coordinator, Director of Police Administration Mike Bitton as the Asst. EMA Coordinator, Commander Dan Bitton as the EMA Director, and Officer Adam Zeis as the EMA Operations Manager.
On the roster are up to 6 WHEMA Supervisors from the Police and Fire departments, and up to 15 WHEMA Officers from village departments and the community at large. Each WHEMA volunteer contributes their time and expertise for training, emergency call-outs and schedule events, with a dedication to aiding their community each time the need arises.
The Winthrop Harbor EMA is currently accepting applications for the position of WHEMA Officer. Residents interested in assisting their community as a WHEMA Officer may click here for information and the application form.