The members of the combined Johnson County, KS CERT teams hosted the 2015 Kansas City Metro Regional CERT Rodeo on August 1st, 2015, in Olathe, KS. Olathe CERT was the lead agency, organizing all meetings, facilities, etc.
Several team members from Missouri CERT organizations also took part in the organizing and facilitating of the rodeo. This was the very first time that the rodeo has been hosted on the Kansas side of the Metro.
Johnson County CERT members went above and beyond to pull together this large event attended and staffed by approximately 200 CERT members.
All Johnson County CERTs (Olathe, Shawnee, Southwest Johnson County, Overland Park, Leawood - Church of the Resurrection) were involved in this effort. Many evenings were spent in meetings by CERT members and a great deal of personal time was spent developing classes, ordering food, finding vendors, and locating speakers and instructors.
Sid Ashen-Brenner is in charge of all volunteer Amateur radio and storm spotter operations for Saline County. He has selflessly devoted his time and knowledge for years in support of the Saline County Emergency Management office. His selfless commitment to duty and technical expertise has added a force multiplier that the organization could not afford without volunteer manpower. He has headed several projects for our organization including the outfitting of an Emergency Communications trailer that is used for a variety of emergency operations. Sid volunteered countless hours of his personal time to the design, construction and maintenance of this critical asset. Sid has also been heading the amateur radio/storm monitoring operations at the Smoky Hill River Festival for the last several years, allowing our office the ability to have direct communication with staff at the festival in regards to severe weather. Sid reports to the emergency management office anytime there is a threat of severe weather to man the K-link and local amateur radio and coordinate all storm spotter deployments and operations. He is also in charge of publicizing and coordinating amateur radio reports for the monthly test of all Saline County outdoor warning sirens.
He has been a volunteer for Saline County for over 20 years and has always been available for whatever job that was assigned to him. He has been a Volunteer Examiner for the Federal Communications Commission for over 15 years. He is the Director of Communications for the Civil Air Patrol in Kansas. Sid is also the webmaster and QSP Editor for the Central Kansas Amateur Radio Club. His selfless devotion to duty and esprit de corps has been a model for all Saline County volunteers and employees to emulate. Sid has demonstrated the ability to be flexible and adaptable to any situation or missions presented to him. His tireless effort has had a positive effect on the overall preparedness of our county.
Renatta started as the Chautauqua County Emergency Manager on July 22, 2014. At the time, the EM position was part-time in the Sheriff's Department. As of January 1, 2015, the position was reclassified as full-time. Renatta came in and immediately started her long road of training to learn the job. In an amazing amount of time, she was able to obtain all necessary training, including the KS-132 and 133 courses, and received her KCEM on March 24, 2015, just eight months into the job.
Renatta quickly revived the LEPC and made it a functional organization. All required annual forms and documentation are now on file per requirements. By the end of 2014, all of the EMPG documents were completed and approved and on file at KDEM. Chautauqua County's EOP expired in 2012. Shortly after beginning in the position, Renatta applied for, and received an HMEP grant in order to complete and update of the EOP. On July 21, 2015, the EOP was approved by KDEM.
She has been actively involved in the SE Kansas KEMA Region, attended many of the exercises held by other counties in the region and is a member of the SE Kansas Homeland Security Regional Council. Renatta is a member of KEMA and was the first CQ County Emergency Manager to attend the annual KEMA Conference in many years. She is currently in the planning phase involving both school districts in her County.
On September 1, 2014, Renatta experienced her first tornado as an Emergency Manager when the southwest corner of her county was affected. She was able to effectively guide the county and affected municipality through their process of the response and recovery phases. She is now facilitating the county's recovery phase in the current disaster declaration for the spring storms and flooding that occurred in May 2015.
Overall, Renatta has faced all challenges head on and taken an active role in the protection and preparedness of her entire County.
Pat Collins has been the Emergency Management Director in Riley County for the past 25 years. He has been a Kansas Certified Emergency Manager for at least 24 years! He has completed the Emergency Management Institute Professional Development Series, a Commitment to Standards of Excellence in Emergency Management. Pat has served as President of KEMA and has held the position of Chairman of the Northeast Regional Homeland Security since its inception.
He is trained and has the experience to be a Northeast Region Incident Commander and is a Team Leader for the Northeast Kansas Incident Management Team. As a member of the KDEM ICS Training Cadre, Pat has instructed countless hours of Incident Command System training throughout the state. Pat is more than willing to assist other Emergency Managers with all aspects of Emergency Management.
Over the years Pat has continued to improve the Emergency Management program in Riley County and that was evident in June 2008 when Manhattan was struck by an EF4 tornado that damaged much of the City and the K-State campus as well as the surrounding area. During the response and recovery phases of this disaster, the Riley County Emergency Management office revealed a very sound Emergency Management program. Again this year, his knowledge and experience aided Riley County during the May and June flooding event that affected much of the State.
Pat not only works in Riley County promoting the Emergency Management program but also at the regional and state level by working with others to achieve a common goal of preparedness. Pat has worked countless hours in planning and preparedness for the new National Bio & Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) located on the K-State campus.
Jeff is a strong advocate for Emergency Management and the National Weather Service to partner to protect the public. He is always willing to engage in discussion and offer feedback with local emergency managers for weather related incidents. Jeff works with each county, each year on storm spotter weather training. He is an engaging speaker and really brings out the interest of those present.
During a severe weather related event, he will contact the local emergency manager whose county is affected via the 800 MHz radio. If he is unable to reach them through the radio, he will call them personally.
Since the inception of the Integrated Weather Team (IWT), Jeff has worked hard to get the Southwest region involved. He has taken our suggestions to the team and some have been implemented. Jeff also is very active with county exercises and always asks to be involved. He is currently making plume models for 18 counties for a functional exercise that will be delivered throughout the southwest.
Jeff is an active member of KEMA. and he is a vital asset to all county emergency management coordinators.
The KEMA President's Choice award is presented to honor a person, group or organization that has made a significant contribution to their agency, the emergency management profession or our Association.