2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
In Louisville, A.J. ‘Bud’ Fekete has spent his career promoting emergency preparedness among local residents. In addition to conducting extensive hazmat and emergency management training across the United States, he has also worked as a firefighter and in emergency management and public health.
In 1986, Mr. Fekete retired as deputy chief from the Louisville Division of Fire and Rescue. Thereafter, he worked with the Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency (EMA), where he was promoted to assistant director. In 2002, Mr. Fekete retired from Louisville EMA and was hired by the Louisville Metro Health Department, where he continues to serve as an authority on community response to consequence management in the event of a terrorist attack. In cooperation with the Center for Disease Control, Mr. Fekete managed a training contract for the Community Based Emergency Response program. The training provided local responders a comprehensive look at bioterrorism and preparedness planning and response. At the request of other communities, Mr. Fekete’s team traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Cincinnati, and Indiana to provide the training.
Mr. Fekete, along with the Louisville special agent in charge, serves as co-chair for the Louisville Metro/Jefferson County WMD Executive Crisis Group—a collaborative effort between public safety and public health officials from federal, state, and local government agencies to plan for and respond to terrorist events involving weapons of mass destruction in the metro area. The group has been recognized as a model program for communities across the country and, in 1999, briefed then-Attorney General Janet Reno on the organization and their success.
Mr. Fekete has led Louisville Metro in the Cities Readiness Initiative. Through this program, the community has become better prepared in protecting itself during health emergencies.