Fairfax County Public Safety Communications Director Stephen Souder, who recently retired after more than 60 years of public safety service in the metropolitan Washington region, was recognized at the November COG Board of Directors meeting.
Before joining Fairfax County, Souder’s career in public safety included working at the D.C. Fire Department for 18 years, the Arlington County 9-1-1 Center for 16 years, and the Montgomery County 9-1-1 Center.
Souder, who became known as Mr. 9-1-1, served as a valuable resource to COG through his expertise and leadership on a variety of public safety initiatives over the years.
After the 2012 Derecho, he led a group of 9-1-1 directors in the development of an extensive report on 9-1-1 service gaps during the event, which included key recommendations. Following the release of the report, he was instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the group’s work and regular collaboration by helping COG create a 9-1-1- Directors Committee. Souder has been a key player on the Metro Communications Work Group, and led the test of the underground 9-1-1 system after the January 2015 smoke incident. He inspired the current work of the 9-1-1 Directors to implement Next Generation 9-1-1 technology across the region.
“We thank Stephen for his service to our region, and for his dedication to the first of the first responders,” said COG Executive Director Chuck Bean.