In Memoriam of John Tagg

John Tagg served as the director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency from 1994 until his death in 2010.

John made valuable contributions to the West Virginia Emergency Management Plan in two of his passions: The Care of Special Needs Populations in Disasters and The Care of Animals during Disasters. John mentored many new county emergency managers in the state and his phone was always answered when any of his statewide colleagues needed assistance.

He was a certified emergency manager (CEM) and emergency medical technologist/paramedic (EMT/P). Tagg attended West Virginia University, West Liberty State College, and West Virginia Northern Community College and has a degree in applied sciences. He also has taught public safety, emergency medical services, fire sciences, and hazardous materials at the university level. In addition, he has taught at the National Emergency Management Academy, National Fire Academy, Department of the Navy, Department of Energy, West Virginia University Fire Academy, and Ohio County Regional Education Services.

Tagg was instrumental in developing the Ohio County Hazardous Materials Response Team. Under his direction the team received a Partnership Award from EPA Region III. The Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency was certified “StormReady” by the National Weather Service under Tagg’s leadership.

In addition, Tagg was the Ohio County flood plane administrator and the former president and vice president of the West Virginia Emergency Management Council. He served the council as chairman of its Accreditation and Education Committee. He participated in Ohio and Belmont counties’ Terrorism Task Forces.

John will always be remembered by his colleagues in Emergency Management not only in Ohio County but throughout the state. But most importantly, he is survived by the love of his life, his friend, companion, and wife Kathy. The Ohio County and the State of West Virginia is a safer place to live from the contributions of Director John Tagg. May he rest in peace.