Volume 25 Issue 2, 2010


Australian Emergency Management Institute

Frank Pagano is the Executive Director for Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) and the State Emergency Service.


Frank Pagano

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) is a diverse operational division within the Department of Community Safety (DCS) which is responsible for:

Effective disaster management

  • Leading, coordinating and reviewing performance, planning and exercising for those activities necessary before, during and after a disaster or major, multi-response emergency;
  • The provision of disaster management training, community based disaster awareness and mitigation services;
  • Coordination of the state disaster management system and state disaster response management; and
  • Disaster mitigation and administration of Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).


  • The management of the Sate Emergency Service (SES), Emergency Service Units (ESU) and Emergency Services Cadets; and
  • Support and funding assistance for Volunteer Marine Rescue organisations (ie Volunteer Marine Rescue Association of Queensland; Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association; Surf Life Saving Queensland; and the Royal Life Saving Society Australia) and lifesaving activities.

Provision of helicopter rescue

  • Provision of the State Government helicopter rescue and aeromedical services (EMQ Helicopter Rescue) and management of contractual arrangements with helicopter contractors and community helicopter providers.

Frank is the Executive Officer to the State’s peak disaster management body, (the State Disaster Management Group) and is tasked with the ensuring the effectiveness of the disaster management system and also holds, on behalf of the State, the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) for the State Government’s helicopter fleet and is therefore responsible for the operations of the three EMQ helicopter rescue bases in Cairns, Townsville & Brisbane which involves a fleet of five helicopters.

Frank has been in the Emergency Services field for 34 years. Prior to being appointed the Executive Director for EMQ, he was the Deputy Commissioner for Queensland Fire & Rescue Service.

Frank has had played a leading role in every Queensland natural disaster since Cyclone Larry in 2006. Frank spent three months working in Innisfail leading the operational recovery management group, which supported the work of Major General Peter Cosgrove following the impact of Cyclone Larry in 2006. In February 2009, Frank was appointed as Coordinator-General for the North West Floods and worked in Normanton and Karumba to enhance co-ordination of the region’s re-supply and planning for recovery.