INDIANAPOLIS – The Rev. Jim Bushfield, director of Indiana Conference Connectional Ministries, announces the employment of the Rev. Tony Pagano as the new part-time Conference Disaster Response Plan Facilitator for the Conference's Disaster Response Team effective Aug. 1.

Pagano will work with the Disaster Response Team to recruit teams of disaster response volunteers across Indiana to support the conference's UMC Disaster Response plan. One of the goals of the Disaster Response Team is for Pagano to recruit at least ten volunteers in each of the state's ten Indiana Department of Homeland Security districts as teams of early responders to disasters anywhere in Indiana, as well as support training and coordination for regional groups across the state.

Upon his employment, Bushfield said, "Mr. Pagano brings incredible experience about disaster preparedness to our conference. His experience in this field provides contacts which can help us strengthen our volunteer workforce across the state."

Pagano also will work with the Disaster Response Team as well as the Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (INVOAD) as needed during times of disaster in Indiana, such as the 2012 Southern Indiana Tornado Response.

Pagano is a retired State Exercise Training Officer of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and an ordained minister of the Christian Church. In addition to his state work, he also is a certified Stephen Ministry minister, an experienced emergency manager and a trained hospital chaplain.

He will work with the Conference Director of Communication Dan Gangler, who currently relates to the Disaster Response Team.