WATERBURY, VT – An Orwell resident with more than 50 years of experience in emergency response has been recognized as Vermont’s Emergency Management Director of the Year. Sandy Korda was recognized for his commitment and excellence during the annual Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference September 20th.
Emergency Management Directors (EMDs) are the key coordination link between residents, local governments, first responders, and the state. These individuals have direct responsibility for the organization and administration of emergency management resources in their community and county. This requires diligent work before, during, and after emergencies.
“EMDs work hard to ensure their community’s emergency response capabilities are strong, often on a voluntary basis,” Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann said. “Sandy is a dedicated EMD who truly cares about his community. During the COVID pandemic he spearheaded several initiatives to help his community, including organizing welfare checks for those in need of assistance and a volunteer effort to deliver medicines and essentials to those who were homebound.”
Korda is also noted for his efforts to communicate with townspeople ahead of, during, and after emergencies. He utilizes social media and Vermont Alert to provide hazardous weather warning and safety messages and works closely with the state and regional planning commission to provide prompt and reliable damage reporting following a storm to help expedite possible assistance.
His nomination appropriately noted, “Sandy’s efforts have undoubtably kept Orwell and all of Addison County informed and reassured during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be an important resource for hazard planning and responses that arise in the community in the future.”
Certified Emergency Management Directors
Four individuals were also recognized at the conference for completing the state Certified Emergency Management Director program. The designation provides leaders within emergency management organizations with the fundamental knowledge and skills to effectively manage disasters. Through 70 hours of training, which is a blend of online training, instructor-led training, and practical application. Those leaders recognized for this commitment to excellence included:
• Chance Payette, Vermont Emergency Management
• Harry Schoppmann, Vermont Emergency Management
• Jonathan Scott, Central Vermont Medical Center
• Michael DesRosiers, St. Michael's College
The conference was held September 20 & 21 in Killington. Presentations from the event are posted on Vermont Emergency Management’s YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/user/VTDEMHS