Emergency Responders Recognized
A local Emergency Management Director and long-time University of Vermont administrator have been recognized for their contributions to emergency preparedness and response in Vermont. The awards were presented during the Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference this past weekend.
The recipients were:
Vermont Local Emergency Management Director of the year:
Mariah Whitcomb, Thetford
Mariah Whitcomb’s leadership as the EMD of Thetford during the recent flooding in her town on July 1st sets the standard for how a proactive EMD can benefit a community.
Thanks to Whitcomb’s preparedness activities, the Thetford Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was well placed to respond to the storm and then to rebuild after the flooding subsided. She maintained contact with the State EOC requesting resources as water rose, and worked with state agencies like Vermont Emergency Management and the Agency of Transportation to ensure her town not only rebuilt, but could also navigate the federal assistance process
“Her efforts before, during, and after the storm illustrate how an Emergency Management Director can impact the people she serves,” Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann said. “Mariah is worthy of this award for her high standards and example she sets for how an EMD should function.”
Northeast States Emergency Consortium Emergency Manager of the Year:
Bill Ballard, University of Vermont
Bill Ballard serves as the Emergency Management Director for the University of Vermont. Over the last several years Ballard has built UVM’s emergency management capabilities and managed UVM’s Emergency Operations Center during a wide-range of incidents. Those events ranged from winter storms and fires to graduations and an annual Naked Bike Ride conducted by UVM students (an incident for which there is little specific emergency management training).
Bill also works in the State EOC during exercises and events, and is a trained Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program Evaluator and an Emergency Management Accreditation Program Assessor. Ballard will retire from UVM after a 50-year association with the school.