Gov. Haslam names Purkey as head of TEMA

Sep 2, 2014

TEMA Director David Purkey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has named David Purkey as the director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

Purkey, a former Hamblen County, had been serving as interim TEMA director since the retirement of Jim Bassham in April. He will also remain the governor's homeland security adviser and assistant commissioner at the Department of Safety.

Haslam cited Purkey's experience in coordinating state and local responses to emergencies.

TEMA employs 111 people and has an annual budget of about $13 million, with 77 percent of that money coming from federal sources.

Purkey earned his bachelor's degree in public health from East Tennessee State University in 1981, and a master's degree in the same subject in 1987 from the University of Tennessee.