Curt Weldon – Extended Fire/EMS/Disaster Bio
Curt Weldon literally grew up involved in fire and disaster operations. As the youngest of 9, Curt and his 6 brothers followed in their father’s footsteps as members of one of two volunteer fire departments in Marcus Hook. Curt eventually rose to the become Fire Chief of the Viscose Fire Department but resigned after only a few short months because he had just been elected Mayor of the community.
As a firefighter, Curt served in both administrative and line offices while working as a full time educator during the day. While teaching Curt took evening classes at the Delaware County Community College and earned a 2nd Degree in Fire Protection as the first graduate of the Fire Science Program at the College. Curt was then asked by the College to develop an entire competency based curriculum for the Fire Science Program which he completed. During this period Curt became certified as a Pennsylvania State Fire Instructor at the State Fire Training Academy in Lewistown.
While also teaching Curt organized and served as the 1st volunteer Administrator of the Delaware County Fire Academy, overseeing training for all 80 volunteer and paid Fire Departments in Delaware County.
In 1975 Curt served as Assistant Chief on the largest disaster in the United States – the collision of the Edgar M. Queeny into the docked Corinthos in Marcus Hook. Following this disaster Curt served as an expert witness on the disaster in Federal Court, authored the technical book – ‘The Corinthos Disaster”, testified at a Congressional Hearing in DC on maritime fire safety, Keynoted the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Memphis about the disaster and lectured around the country on the disaster and maritime fire safety.
During this period left teaching and served as Director of Technical Training and Development at the INA Corporation, where he was responsible for the training and development of the international technical staff of one of the largest insurance companies in North America. His responsibilities included Fire Protection, Marine Risk Management, Arson, Workers Compensation, Fleet Management and other risks that confronted major corporations insured by the INA. In 1983 he developed the ‘Risk Management for Governmental Entities Program’ for the INA/CIGNA Corporation and the Independent Insurance Agents Association which was delivered to governmental officials nationwide.
In 1981 Curt moved into County Government as one of five elected Commissioners and ultimately Chairman of the Board. During his tenure Curt fostered and supported the creation of a Tri-State Regional Delaware River Maritime Fire & Disaster Working Group and actually secured a surplus DOD Firefighting Tug named ‘Nahoke’. Curt testified before Congress seeking funds for fire boats and pre-positioned marine disaster response equipment and better coordination with federal response agencies.
Beginning in 1987, when Curt was first elected to the US Congress, he championed maritime and port security. During his tenure he served on the Merchant Marine Committee, the Coast Guard Committee and retired as Vice Chairman of the Armed Services Committee as well as Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. He also organized and Chaired the Congressional Fire/EMS/Disaster Caucus for 20 years serving as America’s Honorary Fire Chief. In this capacity he has been on the scene of every major disaster in the US and worldwide over the last 25 years, including Hurricanes Andrew, Hugo, Katrina, Earthquakes at Loma Prieta/Northridge, L’Aquila, Haiti, Indonesian Tsunami, Beslan School Attack, Exxon Valdez, Mid-West Floods, Western Wildland & Forest Fires, NYC Trade Center ’93 & ’01, among others.