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Austintown man runs business of emergency planning

November 7, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Austintown resident Walter Duzzny is not sitting around doing nothing in his retirement years. Instead, he has formed a business that focuses on keeping people and businesses prepared for modern times.

Duzzny is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served 30 years as Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency director.

Duzzny retired from the local E. M. A. on Nov. 30, 2007 In his retirement, he still felt the need to help people be prepared. That led him to form a new business six years ago called Emergency Planning Associates.

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Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Walt Duzzny of Austintown has taken his knowledge gained over the years and is using it in a new business to help others.

"With all that is happening in our world and the President saying you need to do this and that to survive, we gathered together law enforcement and first responders to start a service to help others be prepared," Duzzny said.

He said the business began as an informal conversation on how to better help people in this day and age.

"It just evolved from there," he said.

The business employs law enforcement and first responders who have already been through training and know what needs to be done when they arrive at a situation. The key of the business is to allow people to know what they need to do the second a situation arises. The situations include active shooter training and drills.

Duzzny said when he gets a call for service, his company first goes to the facility calling and do a walk through assessment. He looks for what the facility has and doesn't have. A plan is then developed and presented to the person in charge. If accepted, Duzzny then meets with the entire staff to inform them on what they need to do, including a tailor-made package to meet the security as well as financial situations of a facility, be it a business, church, school, or other entity.

He gave the example of a trucking company that had multiple docks where trucks would back in and unload. A lot of driver's bypassed checking in and just backed into the docks,which were open to the business.

Duzzny said the unused docks were also opened and there was no one around to observe a person coming in. The business owner could not afford to pay a full time security guard, but he could require all drivers to check in first and could afford the cost of a security camera to watch the unused docks.

Perhaps the largest concern today is an active shooter.

"We have 30 million people in this country," Duzzny said. "A few of them will always be disgruntled about something. It is when a person is acting strange or doing strange things that we need to say something. If a person's ears would turn blue when they reached the point of causing harm to others, that would be a good sign to have. Unfortunately that doesn't happen so we have to ask ourselves why a person feels so threatened. This is the topic of many conferences with prominent professionals and they don't have the answers."

Duzzn said the best anyone can do is simply be prepared for the worse to happen, have a plan, and be ready to put it into action. That is why he started the business to help others be prepared for the new threats that face Americans every day. While the Emergency Planning Associates is a for-profit business, Duzzny does feel that he is continuing to contribute to the betterment of Americans.

"At the end of our life cycle, if we can say we have saved one life, that would be the fruits of our readiness."

Emergency Planning Associates can be reached at 330-774-4490. or email at



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