The Florida Division of Emergency Management presented the first ever State Emergency Management Awards last evening at the 2009 Current Issues in Emergency Management (CIEM) seminar for County Emergency Management Director’s at the State Logistics Response Center in Orlando. The awards for 2009 were sponsored by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). FLASH, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation programs.
Recipients were awarded for their innovative practices and achievements in making communities safer, stronger and better prepared to manage emergency or disastrous situations. Award winners have exemplified excellence in their community, emergency planning, successful public-private partnerships, collaboration, demonstration of creative and innovative local problem solving and implementing sound programs that can be modeled for use by other communities.
“Many times the work of our emergency management professionals goes unrecognized. For these and countless other reasons, I find it only fitting that we honor those who serve our State by ensuring our local, state and federal teams are prepared to respond to disasters, recover from them and mitigate against their impacts,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Interim Director Ruben D. Almaguer. “These nine individuals and four programs underscore why Florida’s emergency management program is a national leader.”
Award recipients include: three Hall of Fame inductees Joe Myers former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, David Paulison, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Wayne Sallade, the current director of Charlotte County Emergency Management.
“We strongly believe that celebrating experience, accomplishment and service in your profession through awards like these has a direct, positive effect on public safety,” said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President /CEO, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH®
Individual awards winners include:
The 2009 State Director’s Award: Adjutant General of the Florida National Guard and Director of the Florida Department of Military Affairs Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett;
County Emergency Management Director of the Year: Manatee County Emergency Management Director Laurie Feagans;
Career Achievement in Emergency Management: Miles Anderson, Florida Division of Emergency Management;
Elected Official of the Year: Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey;
Emergency Management Innovator of the Year: Soheila Ajabshir, Miami-Dade County Department of Emergency Management;
Unsung Hero of the Year: Shirley Collins, Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Program awards winners include:
Preparedness Program of the Year: Jack Beven, National Hurricane Center, Miami;
Response Program of the Year: Center for Business Excellence and Daytona Beach/Halifax
Area Chamber of Commerce – Business Operations Center;
Recovery Program of the Year: Palm Beach County Water Utilities;
Frank Reddish Mitigation Program of the Year: Rebuild Northwest Florida.
The awards ceremony was attended by more than 60 county emergency managers who are attending the two day CIEM seminar. The seminar provides additional individual face-to-face coordination opportunities for each county’s lead emergency management officials. All of the state’s 67 counties have an emergency management program. Florida’s emergency management program is nationally-recognized and accredited by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).
For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: http://www.floridadisaster.org/. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: http://www.kidsgetaplan.com/. And for the latest weekly situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT . Or join our blog at: http://flsertinfo.blogspot.com/ .