Emergency Services Head Atkins dies

Staff photos by Tom Kelly IV Ed Atkins, Director of Chester County's Department of Emergency Services during the official opening of the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus in South Coatesville, which was held Sunday September 9, 2012.

By Staff Report

Ed Atkins, the longtime director of the county’s Department of Emergency Services, died Monday, a Chester County official said.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Ed Atkins,” Chester County Commissioners’ Chairman Ryan Costello said late Monday. “Ed was a pioneer in guiding Chester County into a new era of 911 and emergency services. In the 17 years that he led the Department of Emergency Services, his passion helped to position public safety as one of the highest-rated services available to our citizens. His determination and dedication to the development of the Public Safety Training Campus, the County’s Strategic National Stockpile program, and the implementation of the new radio communication system earned our tremendous respect, as well as the respect of his staff, first responders, county work colleagues, and his emergency management colleagues in the region, the state and nationwide.”

Atkins, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, took over the helm of the county’s Department of Emergency Services in 1997.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Ed’s family during this time,” Costello said.