Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SEPA-RTF) is composed of Montgomery County and four of its neighboring counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia. 

Centered around the sixth most populous US city, the region is ranked as the seventh most vulnerable to a terrorist attack in the nation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Formed in 1998 in response to a growing awareness of the threat of terrorism, the Task Force’s focus has broadened to include an all-hazards approach. SEPA-RTF works to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters.

LGS Cooling Towers

While only making up about 5% of Pennsylvania's land area, the 5-county region is home to one-third of the Commonwealth's population and infrastructure. Some of Montgomery County's critical infrastructure includes:

  • PJM: regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 13 states and the District of Columbia
  • Limerick Generating Station (LGS): nuclear power plant with the second most populated 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone in the nation. LGS creates enough carbon-free electricity to power 2 million homes
  • King of Prussia Mall: third-largest shopping mall in the United States
  • Transportation:
    • Road: I-76, I-276, I-476, US 1, US 30, US 202, US 422, and numerous state highways
    • Rail: 7 SEPTA Regional Rail lines, 1 Light Rail/Rapid Transit line, AMTRAK Keystone Corridor, CSX and Norfolk Southern freight lines
    • Air: several small airports including Wings Field and Pottstown/Heritage Field

The region is designated as a Tier 1 region for the purposes of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. The SEPA-RTF has the only Tier 1 UASI in Pennsylvania.

Counties within the SEPA-RTF collaborate to make smart resource investments to develop and sustain capabilities addressing the hazards identified in the county hazard vulnerability and risk assessments. Each county has its own unique capabilities and equipment that make the SEPA-RTF all-hazards prepared.

Regional Capabilities

Bomb Disposal Teams 3
County Animal Response Teams 4
Decontamination Teams 10
EMS Task Forces 9
Foam Teams 14
HazMat Teams 6
Incident Support Teams 3
Major Incident Support Teams 4
Mobile Command Units 17
Physician Response Teams 8
Tactical Communication Teams 6
Urban Search and Rescue Teams 8
Water Rescue Teams 53

SEPA-RTF facilitates coordinated planning, training, and equipment acquisition among the five counties.

The Task Force is overseen by an Executive Board, composed of the (5) county Emergency Management Coordinators. The Executive Board sets annual goals and makes all funding and policy decisions.

2021 Task Force Executive Board

Timothy Boyce, Executive Board Chair
Director, Delaware County Department of Emergency Services

Adam K. Thiel, Executive Board Vice Chair
Fire Commissioner/Director, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

Audrey Kenny
Emergency Management/Services Interim Director, Bucks County Department of Emergency Services

Michael P. Murphy, Jr.
Director, Chester County Department of Emergency Services

Michael O. Vest
Director, Montgomery County Department of Public Safety

The Executive Board oversees and takes input from subject matter experts in five Work Groups, which are further divided into Subcommittees.

Workgroup and subcommittees meet regularly and contain representatives from each of the five counties, plus other partners in the public, non-profit, and private sectors.

The workgroup and subcommittee structure of the Task Force ensures both county-specific and regional preparedness in their assigned area of expertise.

Regional Statistics

Municipalities 244
Square Miles 2719
Fire Departments 322
Police Departments 210
EMS Agencies 112
Hospitals 58
School Districts 70

Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SEPA-RTF) Structure

  • Emergency Management Work Group
    • Critical Infrastructure Subcommittee
    • Public Information Officer (PIO) Subcommittee
    • Schools Subcommittee
    • Training and Exercise Subcommittee
  • Emergency Response Work Group
    • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Subcommittee
    • Firefighting Subcommittee
    • HazMat Subcommittee
    • Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Subcommittee
  • Internet Technology and Communications Work Group
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Subcommittee
    • Interoperable Communications Subcommittee
  • Health and Human Services Work Group
    • Functional Needs Subcommittee
    • Hospitals & Coroners Subcommittee
    • Mental Health Subcommittee
    • Public Health Subcommittee
    • Response & Recovery Subcommittee
  • Public Safety Work Group
    • Aviation Subcommittee
    • Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC) Subcommittee
    • IED/Explosives Subcommittee
    • MIRT Subcommittee
    • SWAT Subcommittee
    • Traffic Subcommittee

Task Force Staff

Kenneth Topping
Regional Planning Coordinator
(484) 674-6577

Scott Bridges
Finance Compliance Coordinator
(484) 674-7576

Jaylene Johnson
Grants Administrator
(484) 674-6575