Chester County Emergency Management Director Ed Atkins, who led the department for 17 years, died Monday, according to the county.
Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, chief executive of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, called Atkins "a great man" who always treated Red Cross volunteers with dignity and respect.
"Every single day he committed himself to making Chester County a better place to live, and ensuring that the citizens of Chester County were safe," Hughes said in a video posted by the Red Cross. "We will miss him deeply."
A county spokeswoman said she did not know the cause of death.