About EMD

Aram Sahakian, General Manager

Official Portrait of Aram Sahakian

Mr. Sahakian was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as General Manager of the Emergency Management Department (EMD) in 2016. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Sahakian led the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) Special Traffic Operations and Emergency Response Division, where he managed emergency response and major special events for over two decades.
Mr. Sahakian has cultivated a broad network of relationships with public and private sector entities, community organizations, Neighborhood Councils, and grassroots stakeholders through his work on many successful citywide initiatives managing multi-stakeholder situations.
Mr. Sahakian has served as Incident Commander for dozens of major incidents in a Unified Command structure alongside the LAPD and the LAFD, including the 2013 LAX Shooting, 2008 Metrolink Chatsworth railway disaster, 2008 Marek and Sesnon wildfires, and 1994 Northridge Earthquake. He has also worked in close coordination with other city, state and federal agencies for U.S. Presidential motorcades, political conventions and gatherings, annual awards shows and sporting events, the transportation of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the 2015 Special Olympics, the 405 Freeway Closure (Carmageddon).

Mr. Sahakian has studied executive level leadership at the Harvard Business and Kennedy Schools, emergency management training at the California Specialized Training Institute, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Emergency Management Institute at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Electrical Engineering and holds a Professional License in Transportation Engineering. 

Our Divisions

The Emergency Management Department has five divisions comprised of administrative staff and specialists that work with City departments, municipalities and an array of community-based organizations to ensure that the City and its residents have the resources and information they need to prepare, respond and recover from emergencies, disasters and significant events.

Administrative Services Division

  • Develops, prepares, and administers the annual EOF and EMD budgets
  • Handles all departmental accounting functions including procurement, accounts payable, travel arrangements, time keeping, grant administration and financial reporting
  • Assists EMD management in addressing labor relations issues, resolves personnel matters and facilitates and coordinates the hiring process
  • Serves as the liaison to county, state, federal and local non-profit agencies
  • Provides staff support for the EOB and EMC
  • Chairs the EOO Administrative/Finance Subcommittee

Community Preparedness and Engagement Division

  • Works with neighborhood associations, schools, faith-based organizations and other community groups to promote emergency management
  • Coordinates EOO community outreach programs
  • Participates in fairs, expos and community meetings
  • Publishes and disseminates preparedness information
  • Distribute brochures and other educational material
  • Chairs the EOO Community Preparedness Subcommittee

Operational Readiness Division

The Operations Division is responsible for ensuring the EMD and the City EOC are ready to coordinate and support emergency resoonse activities at all times. It is responsible for ensuring the operational readiness of the City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and alternate EOC's. This includes:

  • Coordinating EOC activations
  • Ensuring constant readiness for the EOC
  • Staffing, securing access, managing information and maintaining communications systems for all EOC and alternate EOC facilities
  • Public information before, during, and after emergencies

Planning Division

The Planning Division maintains the City's Emergency Operations Plans, coordinates Department Emergency Plans, and consults on department Standard Operating Procedures.

Training and Exercise Division

The Training and Exercise Division develops trainings and exercises to ensure emergency responders in the field and at the EOC are ready to coordinate and support emergency response.