Mike and the National Weather Service Team from Hastings have always done a great job of assisting with weather related activities. They provide exceptional updates for the local activities like county fairs, cars shows, & other outdoor high impact events on a regular basis and when the weather decides to become a factor, they are expedient in sending out information to local EMs. Winter weather updates/webinars are invaluable for EMs., school officials and others to make decisions on conditions for the safety of their students and employees. The spring "spotter talks" are very well thought out and informative for the public and trained spotters as well. They even provide advanced training for dispatchers and Law Enforcement Officers as well. They are always ready to assist in whatever manner is needed. They do all of these things with a smile on their face and helpful attitude toward all of us and make what can be a trying time a little bit easier with their professional attitude and caring dispositions. For these reasons and more, they are the 2020 Outstanding Service Award recipient.
Ladonna Reinert is the Health Department Administrator for Lincoln County and has worked for the county for 25 years. Her department consists of 3 1/2 people in addition to herself. When the prior EM left Lincoln County in August 2019, Ladonna completed the EMPG grant paperwork and ensured that the county was receiving funds from the state. She also was instrumental in making the public aware of everchanging conditions within Lincoln County as well as neighboring counties. Her department took on the credentialing with the CRMCS system along with knowledge of the WebEOC system while ordering resources through the COVID-19 pandemic. She did all of this while Lincoln County was unable to hire an Emergency Manager. There were times when EMs from the region would call her with questions that might arise. Her willingness and unselfish desire to help the people of Lincoln County are why she was nominated for this award. Ladonna, we thank you for all the unrecognized, unselfish, caring work that you do for your county.
Michelle began her duties as the Director of Emergency Management for Saline County on May 13, 2019. She hadn't even received her first paycheck before she was in front of the Board of County Commissioners requesting that a disaster declaration be signed for major flooding. Michelle came to the table with great ideas on how to move the Saline County EM program into the fast lane and integrate technology to increase efficiency and communication with her partners. Her relationship with Kansas Wesleyan University has brought Emergency Management students to the table to mentor them and teach them the things that aren't learned in the classroom. Michelle is one that thrives on being a resource to her partners and assists in any way that she can. She has taken an already established and respected emergency management program and made it her priority to grow and improve. KEMA is very lucky to have Michelle as an advocate to increase awareness of the need for professional education in the emergency management field. Congratulations Michelle.
Fred’s devotion to multi-disciplinary preparedness directly enhanced the Southeast Kansas HealthCare Coalition’s ability to respond effectively to the pandemic, especially in the early months. Fred built a strong and capable network for interagency preparedness and cooperative response. His campaign of proficiency training, response exercises, planning sessions, and communications drills allowed rapid action by healthcare, county public health and emergency management staffs; which directly mitigated the spread of COVID-19. Fred has provided leadership and a framework for response as a single professional community, and he is an outstanding member of the emergency management community in Kansas. Congratulations Fred.
Donald’s KEMA membership has now touched five different decades. He’s been KEMA Area VP, president elect, president and past president. He was coordinator of the year in 2007. He has been a mentor to many and a sounding board to all who get in touch. Don has been a member of IMT since its inception and has been regional chairman of the IMT since 2007. He has responded to incidents regionally and throughout the US. Over the years, Don has been there faithfully serving people and representing his country, state, and county. Instruction is also part of Don's DNA. He has dedicated time, effort, and experience to teaching Emergency Management classes in the Sunflower State. His dedication has been the inspiration for many who would choose the hard work of Emergency Management. Congratulations Donald.
Laurie has been an integral part of KEMA over the years, especially as a part of KEMA leadership, including president elect, president, and currently past president. She takes charge, is proactive, and is always looking at what is best for the organization. Laurie has also been a mentor to many of the regional VPs. As part of her job in emergency management, Laurie has been deployed on many of the IMT missions in the last decade and provided both a calming and knowledge demeanor in trying times. Laurie has served as an exemplary representative of NE KEMA to the Northeast Kansas Regional Homeland Security Council and has been a project manager for the Accountability equipment which has served to better the resource management felt in the NE Region. Congratulations to Laurie on becoming a life member.
Two individuals stood out among the crowd in 2020 as they were caught in the middle between local EMs and the state. These two individuals were able to maintain their professionalism and tried their best to answer questions or find the answer to questions posed on daily calls. They were often the recipients of frustration and downright unhappy callers asking questions that there were no good answers for. For several months, these two individuals continued to show up to work and do the best that they could to be the go between for local EMs and the state. The 2020 KEMA President's Choice award goes to Stephanie Goodman and Jeff Welshans.