IAEM conference awards, honors and accolades
Editor's Note: Our report from the IAEM conference wraps up with the winners of the 2009 awards and certifications.
Over the three days of the 2009 International Association of Emergency Managers annual conference, held Nov. 1–3 in Orlando, Fla., the organization presented a variety of awards to organizations, coalitions and indiividuals.
Homeland1 readers will presumably understand if we put our own award first in this report. The Interagency Disaster Preparedness Award was established in 2005 by Homeland1’s predecessor, Homeland Protection Professional magazine, in partnership with the IAEM, as a way of recognizing exceptional multi-agency programs in disaster readiness.
The 2009 winner is the Pinellas County (Fla.) Homeless Evacuation/Sheltering Plan, which was developed by the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless with assistance from Pinellas County Health and Human Services and Pinellas County Emergency Management.
Along somewhat similar lines, the IAEM’s Partners in Preparedness Awards were established to honor innovative emergency management or related initiatives between local government and the private sector or non-profits. This year there were two winners.
The Faith-Based Preparedness Program uses existing relationships to extend the reach of the Independence (Mo.) and Jackson County (Mo.) Emergency Operations Centers. Preparedness officials in the city and the county worked with local faith-based groups on emergency communications and education; the effort also included such partners as the local health departments, Citizen Corps groups, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and local hospitals.
The other winner was The Calahan Project, a program in Belgium that for the first time assembled all public and private emergency management stakeholders to develop a common plan describing each party’s roles in the emergency recovery.
A Certificate of Merit in this category was presented to the Carroll County (Ind.) Flood Recovery Effort, whose partners included Carroll County EMA, the Eel River Tribe of Indiana, Purdue University, the National Weather Service, Northern Indiana Public Service Co, Clark County Rural Electric Membership Corp., and Disaster Assistance for Northwest Indiana.
The Business & Industry Preparedness Award honors excellence “in implementing a program that plans for multiple hazards, sets implementation priorities, is cost effective, links all levels of the organization, and coordinates with local emergency response and management agencies.” In addition, the program must be capable of being replicated by similar private-sector organizations. The 2009 winner is Georgetown University’s Office of University Safety, Department of Emergency Management & Operational Continuity.
Public education awards
Recognizing outstanding public awareness/education programs related to emergency management, homeland security or disaster preparedness is the mission of the IAEM Public Awareness Awards.
The 2009 winners in the Local Emergency Management Agency division are first place: The San Diego County (Calif.) Office of Emergency Services for the “Tsunamis: Know What to Do!” video, second place: the same agency for its Wildfire Public Awareness Campaign, and third place: the Los Angeles County (Calif.) Department of Public Health for its Public Health Emergency Online Preparedness Training Program for Schools and Communities.
The winners in the division for state, regional or national government; international; or non-profit are first place: Washington State Emergency Management for its Map Your Neighborhood Program to strengthen community disaster preparedness; second place: the Emergency Preparedness Initiative for its Preparedness Education Campaign, which aims to connect the disability and emergency preparedness communities; and third place: the Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) Office of Emergency Management for its public community education video on emergency procedures.
In the category for commercial/for-profit organizations, the winner is “The Road to Ready,” a weekly Internet radio show produced and hosted by Rick Tobin, TAO Emergency Management Consulting, Spring Branch, Texas.
Technology and people
The IAEM Technology & Innovation Awards recognize the development of technology and innovation to improve emergency management, public education or homeland security.
In the local emergency management agency division, the 2009 winners are first place: Pinellas County (Fla.) Emergency Management for its enhanced “Know Your Zone” Web site and second place: Johnson County (Kan.) Emergency & Homeland Security for its JOCO Alert Public Notification System.
In the division for state, regional or national government; international; or non-profit, the honorees were first place: Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, Conn.) for its Comprehensive All-Hazard & Business Continuity Plan using Microsoft SharePoint software. and second place: the Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management for its Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response.
The 2009 Career Excellence Award, which recognizes a leader who has made significant contributions to the emergency management profession, went to Bill Proenza, Southern Region director for the National Weather Service. Proenza has been a consistent advocate within NWS for the needs of emergency managers and has worked to improve the agency’s information and weather forecast products.
The Academic Recognition Award, for significant contributions in education or research related to emergency/disaster management, was given to American Military University <www.amu.apus.edu> for its undergraduate and graduate degree programs in emergency and disaster management, which are open to civilians as well as military personnel. The university is 100 percent online, and the emergency management program has its own show on AMU Radio, “Issues and Trends in Emergency Management,” hosted by program director Dr. Chris Reynolds, CEM.
Finally, 46 candidates were approved by the IAEM Certification Commission to receive the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credential, and 26 were approved to receive the Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) credential. Since the credential’s inception in January 1993, more than 1,300 emergency managers have received the CEM designation, the highest professional certification granted by the IAEM.