Roland "Bud" Mertz was appointed by the Westmoreland County Commissioners on June 9, 2014 to serve as the county's Director for the Department of Public Safety. As Director, he has oversight to the county's Emergency Management division, 911 Center, HAZMAT Team and Park Police.
Prior, Bud served to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Director for the Bureau of Emergency Operations for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The Operations Directorate encompasses the operations of the State Emergency Operations Center and the Division of Logistics.
Bud had also served PEMA as the Director for the Bureau of Community Preparedness and was charged with oversight of the Commonwealth’s community and citizens emergency planning and preparedness efforts. Bud had also served as manager of PEMA’s Office of Strategic Planning.
In 2003 Bud was appointed to serve with the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security. As Deputy Director, Bud was the office’s primary point-of-contact on Commonwealth Infrastructure Protection and Community Liaison. Bud created the All Hazards Consortium’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Working Group and served as chair of that working group through 2008. Bud had also served as Pennsylvania’s Acting Homeland Security Advisor and Director between September 2005 and June 2006.
Prior to his appointment, Bud served 24 years with the Pennsylvania State Police as a Communications Operator. In 1993 he was appointed as Communications Instructor for the State Police Bureau of Training and Education. On September 11, 2001, Bud responded to the crash site of United Flight 93 in Somerset County operating from the Pennsylvania State Police Command Post during the first week of that tragic event.
Bud has a long history in public safety. He has been an active volunteer firefighter with the Greensburg Fire Department, Truck Company #2 in Westmoreland County for 35 years. Bud is also a principal handler and trainer for their Bloodhound Search and Rescue Team and serves as an instructor for the National Police and Bloodhound Association. As a member of the Greensburg SCUBA Dive team, Bud is a certified in Swift Water/River Rescue and Boat Rescue Operations. Bud has responded to numerous disasters during his career as a first responder, including responses in April 1974 to a F5 tornado strike in Xenia, Ohio and the Johnstown Flood of July 1977.
In 1989 Bud was elected as a City Councilman for the City of Greensburg serving 4 consecutive, 4 year terms which ended in December 2005. In 2004 Bud completed a one-year term as President of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities. He was also appointed to serve on the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Steering Committee for the National League of Cities.