Robert C. Bohlmann, CEM, 76, a Lifetime IAEM member, served as a volunteer emergency management director for several communities over a 40-year period, including: Salisbury, CT; Simsbury, CT; State of Vermont Emergency Management Agency; Plymouth, MA; and Wells, ME. Most recently Bob was hired as the emergency management director for York County, Maine, where he served with a high degree of skill, proficiency, and integrity at the county level from 1994 through his retirement in May 2011. Bob led a premier emergency management program, with a great many successes in mitigating the effects of coastal and inland disasters, and in recruiting, cultivating, and growing one of the most outstanding and well-trained volunteer cadres in the United States. He led a highly functional donations management program and administered a pinnacle search-and-rescue volunteer cadre with numerous documented success stories.
Bob served as adjunct faculty for the Emergency Management Institute (1998-2007), Maine Emergency Management Agency, New Hampshire Fire Academy, and Maine Fire Service Institute. After his retirement as York County EM director, he was a FEMA Disaster Assistance employee, where he continued to maintain currency within the EM profession. He was a highly skilled and sought-after assessor for the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), where he served on a number of state and local EM onsite assessor teams for 10 years.
Bob earned his Certified Emergency Manager credential in 1998 and maintained that credential throughout his life. He was a long-time, active IAEM member, who served the association in a variety of roles. He was a founder of the IAEM Scholarship Program member of the Scholarship Commission, and a CEM Commissioner. He also served IAEM in the following capacities: past chair of the Scholarship Commission (8 years), past chair of the U.S. Government Affairs Committee (5 years), past vice chair of the U.S. Membership & Marketing Committee, past vice chair of the U.S. Nominations & Credentials Committee, past sergeant at arms, and member of the U.S. Training & Education Committee. "Bob served IAEM and its members as chair of the U.S. Government Affairs Committee during the critical time that the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) restored the preparedness function and authorities to FEMA," said Martha Braddock, former IAEM-USA policy advisor. "Bob was known by first name by key senators and congressional staff, and he was always eagerly welcomed during Capitol Hill visits. He was a tremendous advocate for the emergency management profession – always knowledgeable and persuasive – and he loved doing it."
Service was in Bob’s blood from a very young age. After high school graduation, he went on to graduate from the Hartford Institute of Criminology with an A.S. in Criminal Justice. Soon after his graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the military police. He was stationed in New York City for training, and then was stationed in Germany, where he headed up the traffic accident division. Upon his discharge, Bob returned to become a public safety officer with the Bradley International Airport before joining the Windsor Locks Police Department. After two years, he joined the Simsbury, Connecticut Police Department and went to the Connecticut Police Academy. Seizing an opportunity that presented itself, Bob opened Nuclear Security Forces Inc., providing security to the new Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant in Vermont. He owned and operated the company for 20 years.
Throughout his emergency management career, Bob maintained a firm commitment to excellence. He frequently offered his advice, skill, and expertise for the benefit of other practitioners, programs, and organizations. In his recommendation for Bob to be named a Lifetime IAEM member, Brian Bovyn, CEM, described him as "a pioneer in the field of emergency management, a gifted mentor to many emergency managers, a transformational visionary leader in the industry and within the IAEM organization, and a true professional who has done a great deal to advance IAEM and the EM field for many years."