By Scott Harvey
Austin – Jack Colley, head of the DPS Texas Division of Emergency Management, died Sunday at the age of 62.
A DPS statement Monday announced Colley had been in the hospital after suffering a heart attack earlier this month.
During his 12-plus years with the DPS, Colley was involved in the response and recovery to many of Texas' largest incidents, disasters and emergencies, including the Space Shuttle Columbia crash (2003), Hurricane Rita (2005) and Hurricane Ike (2008).
Under Colley's guidance, Texas led the nation in a number of initiatives to make disaster response "quicker, faster, smarter," which included work on systems to improve tracking of special needs evacuees and improved processes for safe re-entry of evacuees after the storm.
Colley served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1997, retiring as a Colonel before joining DPS, where he served in several capacities.
His student achievements include a bachelor's degree from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Funeral arrangements are pending.