Emergency responders and organizations recognized

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Tue, 11/08/2016 - 2:06pm -- Denise Sortor

A local fire chief, an Assistant State Fire Marshall, an emergency response team, and a non-profit 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 included:

Vermont Local Emergency Management Director of the year:

Kevin McAllister, Windsor Fire Chief - Kevin McAllister became Windsor Fire Chief in 2015.  He immediately became involved in planning for the statewide Vigilant Guard catastrophic exercise. Chief McAllister spent countless hours before the exercise updating the Windsor Local Emergency Operations Plan, and working with teams that wished to participate in the exercise scenario within a single town.  During the exercise he spent several days in the simulation cell helping to run the exercise.  As he was a planner and controller he could not take part in the exercise with his team in Windsor.  Like a true leader, he had faith in his team and let them respond without his guidance. Since Vigilant Guard Chief McAllister has taken an active role in improvement planning, hosted internal debriefings to capture strengths and areas for improvement, and has worked hard to implement improvements in the Town of Windsor.  His efforts as an active and effective Emergency Management Director, have benefitted those he serves in the Town of Windsor.

Northeast States Emergency Consortium Emergency Manager of the Year:

Patrick McLaughlin, Lyndonville, VT Division of Fire Safety - Assistant State Fire Marshall Patrick McLaughlin has been involved in emergency response and preparedness for over a decade.  Aside from his duties as Assistant Fire Marshal, Pat is an active member of the Vermont Hazardous Materials Response Team, and serves as the Planning Chief for the state Urban Search and Rescue team.  He also serves as a Lieutenant on the Lyndonville Fire Department, is a certified EMT, and is a Deputy Sheriff with the Caledonia Sheriff’s Department. Patrick was a critical part of the planning and execution of the Vigilant Guard exercise this summer.  He was essential in planning the events that took place in the town of Lyndonville, and during the exercise he served as the Simulation Cell Coordinator for the state’s USAR team, the Division of Fire Safety, and the State Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Special Recognition:

Vermont 2-1-1 - Vermont 2-1-1 has been an important partner in emergency response for the past ten-plus years.  2-1-1 serves as the answering point for the public before, during, and after a crisis with important information on the current situation.  During Tropical Storm Irene 2-1-1 took thousands of calls from Vermonters seeking help and information about available resources like shelters, federal recovery assistance and countless other requests. All this is in addition to their daily mission of providing resource information on heating assistance, legal aid, healthcare, individual and family life, and more.

Special Recognition:

Vermont Hazardous Materials Team - The State HAZMAT Team was recognized for 20 years of service to the State of VT.  The team supports every fire department in Vermont as well as the Vermont State Police with highly trained and equipped HAZMAT Technicians when requested.  They respond at all hours to anywhere in Vermont.