Virginia Citizen Corps Superstar Awards

June 2, 2014  //  

VA Superstar Award

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Citizen Corps Office proudly recognize volunteers in preparedness and response communities across Virginia. Many thanks to our partners, Ready Virginia, Virginia 1st, ACP (Association of Contingency Planners) in partnership with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for their support.

All Virginia volunteers and their accomplishments are winners, so be sure to also see the nominees that received honorable mentions, which are listed after the recipients of the 2013 Superstar Awards.

1. Outstanding CERT Volunteer

An outstanding Virginia Beach CERT family should be recognized for this award. Steve, Marge and Chris Wynne are all CERT volunteers. The dad, Steve, originally took CERT with his son, Chris, and then became involved on the Leadership Team and in the instruction of the VBCERT training. His wife, Marge, took CERT in the next class and is very involved in our practicals as the best screaming victim yet! She fills in wherever she can and whenever needed at any VBCERT event. Chris is now the youth representative on our Leadership Team, and he also attends each and every training session to assist the instructors however possible. He also occasionally helps instruct or act as a safety officer during practicals. Chris is also a member of Fire Explorer Post 343. The whole family participates in the majority of our events. In the past four years, this family has put in over 2,250 hours, and that’s not counting the daughter, Nicole, who is 11 and participates as a victim at every practical! They have truly made volunteering for VBCERT a family affair! Their hours for this period of time equal approximately $54,652.50.
Nominated by Cookie Ketcham – Virginia Beach

2. Outstanding MRC Volunteer

Tom Russel, Norfolk MRC volunteer, provided 587 hours of service worth $14,258 to the NMRC in 2013, doing innumerable tasks and assignments to support both the NMRC and the Norfolk Health Department. Tom is in charge of the Ready Room for the health department and inventories, charges and repairs the radios, as well as provides training to staff and volunteers on how to use them. Tom also has done a significant amount of work in inventorying and organizing our preparedness supplies, making our entire department better prepared and able to respond. Tom is my backup and provides orientation to new volunteers in my stead, and he provides proofreading services for our newsletters and other materials. Tom provided critical assistance with the body mass index project last year, regularly assisting staff at schools across the community to measure students, and also provided technical assistance for computer glitches and loose wires in the BMI machines. Most importantly, Tom takes care of us by providing us with delicious baked goods (he has the best bread EVER) on a regular basis. Tom has engendered the respect of the entire department for his outstanding service and intelligent problem-solving skills, and he is frequently requested to help with all manner of needs within the health department. He has been an outstanding representative of the Norfolk MRC since 2008.
Nominated by Linda Botts – Norfolk

3. Outstanding Volunteer in Police Service

Charles Winkler has been a volunteer in the VIPS program since 2011. Charles is assigned to our Investigations Division and uses his 30+ years experience as an intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense to give perspective and analysis to active and cold cases. He has logged more than 661 hours, translating into $16,011 in a cost-savings benefit to the department. During this time period, Charles has been a devoted contributor to the program. His duties over the years have been in several areas of concentration to include preparing an illustrated, multi-page and PowerPoint briefing on improvised weapons and tactics that might be encountered during police actions against Occupy Charlottesville, the reviewing of cold case files, and re-contacting auto break-in victims for additional information and community outreach. Mr. Winkler is a trained professional photographer and photographs department award events and any police-related community event. In 2013, Charles photographed several events for the police department that include the following: Chili Cook off, 5th Street County Office Building, Foxfield Races, ACPD Police Foundation Awards Banquet, JAMS (Jefferson Area Motor Squad) Motorcycle Competition, National Night Out in August, GRIP (Gang Reduction and Intervention Program) rollout in September, “Toylift” in December, and promotions and awards ceremonies. In addition, Charles completed several research initiatives for the department that include equipment for possible ACPD-ID acquisition (laser crime-scene scanners) and researching costs of printing a newsletter in-house or via outsourcing.
Nominated by Mike Wagner – Albemarle County

4. Outstanding Neighborhood Watch Volunteer

Cecilia Hull is nominated for the Most Outstanding Neighborhood Watch Volunteer Award. She is the watch group coordinator for the Diamond Hill Non-Historic Neighborhood Watch in the city of Lynchburg. She has been the group coordinator and volunteered her time for more than seven years. She has done an outstanding job as group coordinator. During her tenure, she has led the group’s efforts in crime prevention, code enforcement, community involvement and neighborhood pride. The Lynchburg Police Department has seen a significant decrease in criminal activity thanks to her efforts. She is very outgoing and makes an extra effort to include everyone in and around the Diamond Hill watch area. Each year her watch group hosts one of the largest Lynchburg Night Out Against Crime events in the city, which usually hosts approximately 75-100 people. Her group was featured in a WSET / ABC 13 news story on Lynchburg ”Night Out Against Crime” in 2012. It is always a wonderful event to promote Neighborhood Watch and celebrate the community of Diamond Hill. She also has coordinated efforts to include H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) program event, Community Code Compliance Team neighborhood walk-throughs, and events in partnership with the Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Department. She is an outstanding Neighborhood Watch coordinator, and we at the Lynchburg Police Department greatly appreciate her efforts during the past seven years. We look forward to our continuing partnership with her and the Diamond Hill Non-Historic Neighborhood Watch.
Nominated by Steven Wood – Lynchburg

5. Outstanding Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Volunteer
Ronald Davidson Gleaning for the World, Inc responds to every major disaster in the United States and internationally. In 2003 Roy St. John came to Gleaning for the World Inc., responds to every major disaster in the U.S. and internationally. In 2003, Roy St. John came to Gleaning from Altavista to gather supplies to transport to San Antonio and Brownsville, Texas. Even though he was employed by the U.S. Postal Service, he began volunteering at Gleaning. Roy is a huge man, comfortable in the worst possible conditions, and will travel anywhere any time to care for another person. Gleaning for the World needed a person who could travel at a moment’s notice to disasters, work with the local churches to establish distribution centers, and begin distributing supplies to the victims. The person had to be composed while seeing human carnage, working extremely long hours, and handling massive amounts of materials. Roy became the man. Even though he is now working part time for Gleaning, he volunteers more hours than he is paid. In one disaster, the church people did not show up on time, so Roy began handing out water to thousands of people by himself. By the time the congregation was in place, Roy had already distributed 24,000 pounds of supplies. In many disasters, he is the first on the ground and the last to leave. Some of the disasters Roy responded to were tornados, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Moore, Okla.; hurricane, New Orleans; floods, Tallassee, Fla., Washington, Ill., Logan, W.Va., Jacksonville, Fla., and Denver, Colo.; windstorm, Lynchburg; Hurricane Katrina; forest fires, Virginia; polluted water, Charleston, W.Va.
Nominated by Rev. Ronald Davidson – Concord

6. Outstanding Training Event

Virginia Beach hosts the annual Rock’n Roll Half Marathon with approximately 15,000 runners, and the Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps invited units from across the region to participate in staffing first aid tents. VBMRC also worked with their hospital to allow MRC inclusion in the Mobile Emergency Room that was set up near the finish line on the beach. MRC volunteers from VBMRC, Norfolk MRC, Chesapeake MRC, Portsmouth MRC, Western Tidewater MRC and Peninsula MRC all participated; volunteers helped to set up and break down the first aid stations and the Mobile ER before and after the event, and also provided first aid at the aid stations as well as critical care in the Mobile ER. This event is run as an exercise with Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital but provides invaluable services to racers and spectators alike. A total of 81 MRC volunteers provided approximately 600 hours of service for a monetary value estimated at $17,900.
Nominated by Linda Botts – Norfolk

7. Outstanding Inclusive Regional Exercise

In May 2013, the Newport News CERT program hosted the first Peninsula CERTEX, a full scale exercise, in Newport News. CERTs from Newport News, Gloucester, Williamsburg, York County, Hampton, Poquoson and James City County participated in this tremendous training event that involved more than 120 CERTs, 50 role players and 20 members of the exercise team. Suffolk also provided its mobile communications unit, and the American Red Cross exercised its feeding capabilities for first responders. The exercise began at 8 a.m. when a tornado struck the Peninsula. CERTs were tasked with searching the interior of the South Morrison Family Education Center, a former elementary school, and the exterior grounds for victims. Fifty victims had to be located, triaged, transported to medical treatment and treated for their various injuries. CERTs had to call upon all of the skills learned in Basic CERT, as well as implementing ICS on a much larger scale than they have ever done in the past. The exercise concluded at noon with a hot wash and was evaluated by all participants, evaluators and controllers. An improvement action plan was developed and has been implemented. Based on the IAP, supplemental training drills were developed by the Newport News CERT Training Team leader and are being conducted on a monthly basis. The lesson plans have been shared with the entire region to utilize with all CERT training programs. Job aids were developed and also have been shared. The exercise provided us with clear direction and was a tremendous success.
Nominated by Dana Perry – Newport News

8. Outstanding Collaborative Community Outreach Event

Zombie Apocalypse, Christopher Newport University – On Halloween, October 31, 2013, Peninsula MRC, Peninsula Health District staff, Health Occupations Students of America – New Horizons School, Hampton University, Newport News Community Emergency Response Team, York County and Newport News Fire and Life Safety, the FBI, staff from FEMA Region III, and CNU staff and faculty worked together to conduct preparedness training for nearly 150 students at Christopher Newport University. At high noon, nearly 50 zombies invaded David Student Union providing students with a Zombie Novella and directing them to four preparedness training stations: Preparedness 101, Fire Safety, Hands Only CPR and Active Shooter. Once they completed training at each station, students presented a stamped preparedness passport and were given a Ready Hampton Roads pack filled with preparedness supplies. To be fully protected against a zombie pandemic, 340 students received the flu vaccine. A total of 131 volunteers, staff and community partners were involved in this day long activity providing 786 hours of service; six Newport News CERT at 40 hours total, 15 MRC Volunteers at 85.25 hours total. Total value of Citizen Corps volunteer service = $3,042. Total value for service hours for this event = $19,091.94.
Nominated by Teresa Winstanley – Newport News

9. Most Committed Volunteer Trainer or Educator

Ray George has been a Chesterfield CERT instructor since the program began in 2003. He teaches Medical Operations Parts 1 and 2 and Search and Rescue. Ray is also an instructor at Chesterfield’s Regional Survivor Day workshops. He is completely committed to the CERT program and goes above and beyond for all the students to ensure they learn the skills needed to be an effective CERT volunteer. His moulage skills are amazing, allowing students to get a glimpse of a “real life” wound and how to treat it. Ray has profoundly influenced many CERT students by encouraging them to continue their training by taking an EMT course. Several students have completed their EMT certification; one young lady actually continued on to become a volunteer firefighter and EMT for Chesterfield. At the conclusion of every class, students are given an evaluation form to complete. At least one person in each class mentions how great Ray is. Some comments are, “Ray is your biggest strength,” “his classes are amazing” and “Ray is a fantastic teacher!” He is a passionate and professional instructor and gets the attention of the class. Ray is certainly one of a kind, and the Chesterfield CERT program and students are very fortunate to have him.
Nominated by Sherri Laffoon – Chesterfield

10. Most Beneficial Supplemental Training to Basic Training Programs
Jason Zaccarine The Chesterfield County Police Department runs a six-month training academy for new police recruits from which staff identified 23 The Chesterfield County Police Department runs a six-month Training Academy for new police recruits for which training scenario actors are needed to make the practical training more realistic and beneficial to the recruit’s learning experience. These scenarios are required in the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Mandated Practical Testing week. Every law enforcement academy across the state is required by DCJS Standards and Training to complete these practicals, and the way a recruit handles them is indicative of how they will perform during field training and later when they are on their own. Volunteers have become an indispensable part of this training. By utilizing volunteers, the academy can have multiple role players without calling as many officers off the road or away from their assignments to help with training. Additionally, these volunteers provide an opportunity to better train recruits to deal with a variety of citizens by creating more realistic interactions. This is carried out by utilizing a diverse volunteer group which includes individuals ranging in age from teenagers to retirees, including citizens with disabilities. During 2013, 38 volunteers gave a total of 1,080 hours, which equates to a monetary value of $26,233.20. During this time, 52 recruits proceeded through this part of their training and eventually graduated to sworn police officers. Volunteer Training Scenario Actors:
Ashlee Allard, Jake Allard, Methal Amin, Isabel Axelson, Bill Bishop, Norma Bliley, Ben Chilson, Julia Chilson, Alyssa Darnell, Mike Elliott, Nils Escober, Lissi Ewees, Suzanne Fleming, Megan Gordon, Weldon Hazlewood, Carolyn Horton, Jerry Horton, Max Inman, Kyle Jacocks, Mary Jones, Rose Jones, Ruth Jordan, Fred Loveless, Jane Loveless, Edith Lumpkin, Jim McLane, Patt Moriarity, Nathan Nilsson, April Obranovich, Bob Parrish, Dianna Poulsen, Emily Ridgway, Katie Ridgway, Roy Soto, Nancy Stallard, Wayne Stallard, Wanda Stamey and Russ Wiles.
Nominated by Captain Jason Zaccarine – Chesterfield Police Department

11. Outstanding Public or Private Sector Partner

In the spring of 2013, the Crisis Center of Bristol sent out a training flier for the suicide awareness courses that are offered by the agency. After closer inspection and some phone calls, the unit coordinator for the Southwest Virginia MRC realized the potential for suicide awareness trainings for volunteers was being offered free by the Crisis Center. During the summer months of 2013, the Crisis Center Staff (Emily Anne Thompson and Katie Graetti) provided Suicide TALK training on six different occasions from Galax to Marion to Cedar Bluff to Gate City. A total of 30 SWVA MRC volunteers and 12 community members took advantage of this training opportunity. The willingness of the Crisis Center staff to work with the unit coordinator to provide this training throughout the region at all times of the day and evening was greatly appreciated. Their staff is professional and as passionate about Suicide Awareness Training as the Medical Reserve Corps is about emergency preparedness and public health. In July, the Crisis Center asked if the SWVA MRC would be interested in helping them with a fund-raising activity as part of Food City’s Family Race Night. Several SWVA MRC volunteers were honored to "pay back" the Crisis Center in this small way as a "thank you" for the training which had been provided to the SWVA MRC. Plans are underway to offer Suicide TALK classes again during the upcoming summer, as well as ASIST, which has been requested by several SWVA MRC members. The Southwest Virginia MRC looks forward to a long relationship with The Crisis Center.
Nominated by Kristina Morris – Bristol

12. Outstanding Teen or Teen Youth Group

Alaina Mullins, now 18, is an extremely vital asset to Virginia Beach CERT, the Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Virginia Beach community at large. She is an active member of Virginia Beach CERT and is the captain of Explorer Post 343 that does training two nights a month. Alaina rosters members each night and supervises 19 Explorers with a lieutenant and three squad leaders to assist her. Alaina volunteers as a runner and staff assistant at the Virginia State Fire Chiefs Association Conference held in Virginia Beach each year. She worked a Christmas “Toys for Tots” drive last year with a local business, and during the Christmas season last year Alaina volunteered at the Honor Guard Association Christmas Tree lot. Alaina helped the Explorers collect blankets for the homeless shelter during the winter. For many years since earning her black belt in karate at 10 years old, Alaina has volunteered to teach those of lesser degrees how to earn their black belts. The nominee worked her way up to 3rd Don, or 3rd Degree Black Belt, instructing and providing leadership training to those moving up the ranks. Her experience, leadership and abilities earned her a position on the staff at Savior Martial Arts in 2013 at the age of 17. The total number of volunteer hours is for 1.5 years and totals more than 500 volunteer hours = $12,145.00.
Nominated by Cookie Ketcham – Virginia Beach

Honorable Mentions

  • Mary Begor is a go-getter with training and is passionate about her work. Mary has been with the Peninsula MRC since April 2008. Mary has routinely conducted the popular Psychological First Aid Course at Peninsula but has expanded her coverage across the Eastern Region. She has designed curriculum to fill gaps in volunteer training, and in 2013, she earned her CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor Training certification. Mary can be seen at most any major MRC event assisting in any way she can. Mary is also passionate about animal welfare and pet shelters.

Nominated by Teresa Winstanley – Newport News

  • Janie McGlocklin, registered nurse from Meadowview, has been an ACTIVE Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps member since June of 2010. It is important to emphasize active in the description because whenever there is any activity, Janie does her best to rearrange her work schedule or change personal commitments to serve the Medical Reserve Corps. In 2013, Janie officially logged in 30 hours of service with two Drug Take Backs, two county captain meetings, Family Fun Day at Emory & Henry and Fall Festival at Bristol Regional Housing Authority. As a county captain for Washington County, Janie was the lead volunteer at both Drug Take Backs, which included not only setting up drop locations, but communicating with volunteers, taking pictures and submitting After Action Reports. Janie is a wonderful recruiter for the Medical Reserve Corps and has shared information and completed the enrollments for most of the surgical nurses at Johnston Memorial Hospital. Janie McGlocklin epitomizes “active volunteer” and she is a joy to have as a member of the Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps.

Nominated by Kristina Morris – Bristol

  • Since completing CERT training in 2003, Patricia Lengle has been an above-and-beyond member of the Arlington County CERT. She is team coordinator for one of the county’s 10 neighborhood CERTs, a licensed ham radio operator and active CERT ham, a certified CPR/AED/first aid instructor, a member of the CERT advisory board and has completed EMT training. In addition, she is a self-trained moulage artist extraordinaire and is responsible for all aspects of moulage – research, supply ordering, training others, pre-fabrication (where possible) and application of wounds – associated with the large-scale first responder exercises we support, as well as our own training. In 2013 – and on top of all other CERT responsibilities — this included the absolutely huge task of moulaging 120 role players for the APEX13 exercise at Reagan National Airport. Pat works tirelessly on behalf of the Arlington County CERT every year and, in addition to coordinating neighborhood team and moulage activities, provides invaluable support to the county’s CERT program coordinator. She is creative (designs training activities for her team and makes awesome fake injuries), resourceful (who else recycles the family’s old clothes into burned and bloody victim attire?), selfless (she has committed 11 years to the CERT program and all it stands for) and a great role model for CERT. During 2013, Pat invested approximately 350 hours on behalf of the CERT program at a value to the county of $8,500 … and she also has a “real job!”

Nominated by Cynthia Kellams – Arlington

  • Vickie Virnelson has been a committed volunteer training coordinator for the Portsmouth CERT for more than eight years. She is worthy of a nomination in two categories, but I have selected this one to enter. On June 1, 2013, Vickie spent countless hours orchestrating a Disaster Readiness Fair at the Lowe’s on 4040 Victory Blvd. in Portsmouth. The purpose of the fair was to provide vital information and demonstrations on disaster preparedness. Vickie secured Lowe’s to sponsor the event. She then assembled a team to provide information about preparing self, family, home and even pets to survive a disaster. The team she coordinated included Portsmouth CERT, MRC, Lowe’s, Portsmouth Police and Fire departments, Portsmouth Dispatch, the Sheriff’s Department, the Humane Society, State Farm Insurance and Farm Fresh. The day of the fair, 10 volunteers from CERT and MRC arrived two hours early to set up for the four-hour event. More than 300 members of the community attended the Disaster Readiness Fair. The first 100 to complete all of the stations received a goody bag filled with disaster supplies. The managers of both Lowe’s and Farm Fresh commented that it was by far the best, most organized event that they had ever been a part of. Mrs. Virnelson committed six months to the planning of the event. She coordinated the monthly meetings needed to discuss the best way to educate the public and what each participant could contribute. For all of her hard work and dedication to make the Disaster Readiness Fair a success, Vickie Virnelson deserves recognition.

Nominated by Bob Wise – Portsmouth

  • CERT Member Dave Lipp graduated from the Chesterfield CERT program in November 2011 and is one of our most active volunteers. He has volunteered for numerous public outreach events, taken advantage of numerous training opportunities, and participated in a smoke alarm testing project for the fire department. In 2013 alone, he contributed more than 200 volunteer hours. Dave utilized his training on multiple occasions. He participated in a search for an elderly woman, assisted another elderly woman who had a medical emergency and crashed her vehicle, performed first-aid on a woman who fell on a sidewalk at a local store, and performed first-aid on a cyclist who crashed her bicycle on the side of the road during a race. Dave recently was selected by the NBC Today Show from more than 140,000 people nationwide to appear on Jenna Wolfe’s segment, “30 Days to a Better You.” Jenna came to Chesterfield, and Dave, along with 30 CERT members, showed her CERT in action. Dave epitomizes a great volunteer. Chesterfield County is very lucky to have him on our team.

Nominated by Sherri Laffoon – Chesterfield

  • Jeannette “Ann” Straus joined Norfolk CERT in February 2013 and has contributed 100 hours worth $2,429. As a CERT member she participated in the CERT/MRC St. Patrick’s Day Parade float in March 2013. Ann initiated a donations drive for hygiene items and worked with other CERT and MRC volunteers to assemble hygiene kits for the homeless at two separate Homeless Connect events at Scope in Norfolk. She believes in preparedness and helped to pass out preparedness information at the Norfolk Tides game in June; she also portrayed a zombie in the September Preparedness month event "When zombies took over downtown Norfolk," distributing the Zombie Apocalypse novella to Norfolk Citizens at the Tide Light Rail stations. Ann is a current and active member of the Norfolk Pet Shelter Team that is run completely by CERT members. Ann has participated in an exercise as a plane crash victim at the Norfolk Airport. She was a route marshal with other CERTs for the Girls on the Run race last May and November, helping to direct runners and keep pedestrians off the course. As a result of her CERT training, Ann frequently reports in any damage to her neighborhood or surroundings when we have weather events. In the short amount of time that Ann has been with CERT, she has already become a member of the CERT leadership team and offers sound advice and suggestions to improve the group. Ann is a great asset and volunteer; she also volunteers for the MRC.

Nominated by Linda Botts – Norfolk

  • Two outstanding CERT volunteers, Missy Tuttle-Ferrio and Anita Van der Merwe, are special to the Fairfax County CERT program. Recently, we had several volunteers step down, and we realized that it would be a perfect time to restructure the CERT volunteer leadership and to modify the actual CERT program countywide. Together, Missy and Anita stepped up to handle the task. It was like herding kittens for them. They had to manage and redirect 20 other volunteers in various positions. They had to hold meetings and draw charts and email continuously throughout the process. The final outcome is a new and improved Fairfax County CERT program, with a new cadre of dedicated, eager volunteers at the helm working together to ensure the continued success of the program.

Nominated by Jeffrey Katz – Fairfax

  • Joe Pescador’s volunteer hours since he joined the CERT program are 1,150, which equaled a value to Gloucester of $27,933.50!! During his years of service starting in 2010, he has distinguished himself as a Gloucester County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member through his exceptional work ethic, unparalleled commitment, and superior organizational abilities in support of CERT. Joe volunteers and dedicates 16 hours weekly (832 hours office hours for 2013) to enhancing CERT capabilities and improving the CERT organizations’ preparedness through leading detailed training sessions and writing the monthly CERT newsletter which has received numerous accolades from various county departments and civic organizations. Specifically, he has been the cornerstone in coordinating all volunteers for a myriad of community and civic activities promoting CERT throughout the community, increasing the overall level of preparedness within the county. Additionally, he has been instrumental in developing an informatively detailed CERT training calendar, participating in the partnering meetings with adjoining jurisdictions for the annual CERTEX, and the outstanding efforts of the entire CERT organization during the Battle of the Hook reenactment, a national event sponsored by the Continental Line, British Brigade, and Brigade of the American Revolution. More than 1,000 actors participating in one of America’s largest Revolutionary War reenactments was held on the historic grounds of Warner Hall in Gloucester. Joe’s focused efforts at getting the Ready Virginia 2013 preparedness campaigns to the forefront of public awareness was exceptional and increased the visibility of not only the Gloucester County Emergency Management Office but supporting organizations as well. Emergency Manager Creig Moore has received numerous laudatory comments regarding Joe’s superb representation of the CERT organization. His sterling example of servitude is worthy of emulation and epitomizes what has become expected of all CERT organization active members. He is truly deserving of the Superstar recognition for his outstanding contributions to the Gloucester community.

Nominated by Jane Wenner – Gloucester

  • While Sue Maddox-Toth is the Central Office CERT coordinator at the Virginia Department of Transportation, she goes above and beyond with the countless hours of personal time she provides to promote our CERT program. She is enthusiastic and dedicated to the safety of her team and the employees here at Central Office. I have volunteered with Sue for 10 years, and she has always offered great support and knowledge of managing emergencies and has prepared us to function on our own when a disaster occurs. While other response teams, (VDOT First Responder and Violence in the Work Place) have come and gone, Sue has continued to promote the advancement of our program by keeping it current and an integral part of the Central Office emergency plan. In addition, she continues to work within constrained budgets by finding creative ways to secure desperately needed supplies. Sue is definitely a champion of this program, and without her guidance and leadership our program would fail to exist, thus leaving a void in emergency lifeline between employees and paid responders.

Nominated by Brian King – VDOT, Richmond

  • As a volunteer with the Crime Prevention Section, Sallie Levander is always available to assist with projects or assignments. Last year we embarked on the task of having Chesterfield County approved as a Department of Criminal Justice Services Certified Crime Prevention Community. This project involved many different offices of Chesterfield County government. As the crime prevention supervisor, I was to oversee the program. On average, the process from beginning to final approval takes more than a year. Sallie Levander, one of our volunteers in Crime Prevention, stepped up to assist me with the CCPC program. Throughout the year, Sallie served as a point of contact for all the offices involved in the project. She spent countless hours organizing materials turned in for review as well as assisting the members of the Crime Prevention Section with their objectives. When Chesterfield County was finally approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Services as a Certified Crime Prevention Community, one of the reviewing officials commented on the fact that a department volunteer played such an integral role in the achievement. Rick Arrington from DCJS served as our liaison for the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program. He also commented throughout the application process about Sallie’s professionalism and dedication. After her involvement with DCJS on the Certified Crime Prevention Community program, Sallie was asked to assist with the Crime Prevention Training Advisory Committee. She was specifically asked to be involved due to her perspective as a volunteer. Since August of 2012, Sallie has volunteered well over 500 hours of her time to the department. She is always willing to go the extra mile, not just for the Crime Prevention Section but for the department. Her service to the Chesterfield County Police Department and the residents of Chesterfield County is unparalleled, and her commitment to the community knows no bounds.

Nominated by Captain Jason Zaccarine – Chesterfield Police Department

  • The Town of Quantico would like to nominate the Town of Quantico Police Department Auxiliary Program for its outstanding contributions to the law enforcement and community service mission of the police department in supporting the residents of Quantico. The program consists of four members, Cpl. Richard Buster, Officer Paul Moriarty, Officer Mark McCoy and Officer Charles Kincheloe. Through the efforts of the these volunteers, the police department has been able to secure more than $50,000 in grant awards and funding and has gained more than $10,000 in manpower support, without which our mission could not be accomplished. During a recent upheaval and leadership change in the agency, the Auxiliary Program remained as the sole law enforcement support for the town and exemplified them by displaying absolute integrity and commitment to duty throughout the transition process. In fact, the only officers not found culpable during the investigation of the agency were the auxiliary officers. The residents of the town of Quantico receive constant and humble support from these volunteers on a daily basis and have during the most difficult times our agency has faced.

Nominated by Chief John Clair – Quantico Police Department

  • James A. Stick serves as a volunteer in the Virginia State Police Division Five Area 32 Office in Norfolk. He assists the sworn and civilian staff of that office by working at the front desk greeting the public, answering telephone calls and assisting with general paperwork in the office. He orders supplies for the state troopers assigned to the office and performs other administrative tasks such as accepting legal documents and distributing the mail. He recognizes that the donation of his valuable time ensures the state troopers assigned to this area office are available to answer calls for service from motorists, investigate motor vehicle crashes, enforce Virginia’s criminal and traffic laws, and ensure that the highways in their area remain as safe as possible. He is very well liked by the employees in the Area 32 Office, and they are always pleased to see him on the days he is able to volunteer with them. Helena Benefield, office services assistant in the Area 32 Office, describes him as, “a great guy who is well liked by all of the troopers and by the citizens he helps. He always does a great job.” Each day he volunteers in the office he assists between 40-50 citizens. He volunteered 504.5 hours in 2013. Using the value per hour of volunteer service provided on this nomination form, his volunteer service equates to a donation of $12,254.30 to the citizens of Virginia.

Nominated by Joseph Walter – VSP, Richmond

  • The Leesburg Police Department’s Citizen’s Support Team is nominated for this award. The Citizen’s Support Team is a group of uniformed volunteers from the community that assists the police department with special events and emergency situations and, while performing neighborhood patrol, acts as additional eyes and ears in the community. Trained by the Leesburg Police Department in traffic direction techniques, the volunteers help with traffic control during parades and other special events and often are called up for emergency traffic duty during fires, serious traffic accidents, and hazardous materials incidents or bomb threat situations. The team members also provide safety information and child DNA identification kits at schools and other children’s events. These volunteers also provide additional vehicle patrols in the community and report back any suspicious activity. They take no law enforcement action but act solely as observers while officers are en route. In most incidents, these volunteers observe undetected and update officers on descriptions of vehicles and/or suspects and give direction of travel, etc. Their assistance has led to numerous arrests of persons that may have escaped had they not been under support team surveillance. The Citizens Support Team is currently made up of 11 active volunteers that provided invaluable support in conducting foot patrols and traffic direction and other services during our major events. In 2013, the Citizens Support Team conducted 441 hours in event support and traffic control, 23 emergency call-outs for man-power assistance, and 6446 man-hours for vehicular and foot patrols.

Nominated by Lt. Jeffrey Dube’ – Leesburg Police Department

  • Christopher Greene is a civilian emergency manager for the Marine Corps in real life, but he has made a significant contribution to the Aquia Harbour Community and to the police department as a volunteer during the past three years. Law enforcement, particularly small agencies, must often forgo the luxury of expertise in the area of emergency management and advance emergency police planning, but in Aquia Harbour, he has spent hundreds of hours bringing us up to speed and making changes that help keep our officers and our community safe to include: funding and training officers in personal gunshot wound treatment kits, spearheading a policy whereby AHPD officers were dispatched to EVERY fire & rescue call. This helped build a relationship with our public safety brothers, and we learned that not only do police officers often arrive first, they are also very helpful to fire and rescue when dealing with distraught family members, traffic issues, etc. He designed medical go-bags for each cruiser and provided free first responder training so that life-threatening issues could be immediately addressed prior to the arrival of medical personnel. When he saw the age of our AEDs, he petitioned our council to replace them with state of the art AEDs for each cruiser. Weeks later, this technology was used to save the life of a resident when our duty officer arrived on the scene of a full cardiac arrest six minutes before the fire department. He obtained laminated 100- and 500-year flood maps to help us plan orderly and systematic evacuations in the event of flood and started the Aquia Harbour Community Response Team (CERT), a national program that provides trained volunteers to assist professional staff in emergencies. To date, this team has logged more than 500 hours for storms such as the derecho, Hurricane Sandy and numerous snow storms and has become an invaluable asset to the AHPD. These are just some of the highlights of this man’s contributions to our agency. Every agency should be fortunate enough to know a volunteer of this caliber. He is most deserving of formal recognition and to date our gratitude has been the extent of that. We would very much like to see him recognized by an organization as prestigious as the Virginia Citizens Corps.

Nominated by Chief Patricia Harman – Police Department, Aquia Harbour

•Julius Huggins is an outstanding example of what a neighborhood watch volunteer should be. He has been an integral part in setting up and maintaining one of the best neighborhood watch units in Chesterfield County. The unit is one of the few in Chesterfield that has a dedicated group of neighbors that sign up on a schedule and patrol their subdivision on a regular basis. Julius has been asked on numerous occasions to address other neighborhood watch groups to advise them on what is successful and what is not in running a watch. He recently testified before a COPS grant representative about the excellent working relationship that his neighborhood watch group has with the police department. He also coordinates a National Night Out party for his neighborhood each year. Julius is a very dedicated citizen and truly cares about his community.
Nominated by Captain Jason Zaccarine – Chesterfield Police Department

  • Walter Green of the Legion of Frontiersmen is nominated for the Virginia Citizen Corps Superstar Award. Walt has been an important member of the Virginia VOAD for the past several years and has played an important role in assisting our attempts to modernize our information management and reporting program. Walt has leveraged the technological resources of the Legion of Frontiersmen to help Virginia VOAD streamline the process by which our members report their activities in disaster response, relief and recovery … an effort that allows our members to spend more time actually doing their work instead of telling people about it. While Walt and the Legion of Frontiersmen were originally asked to support this mission, he has truly gone above and beyond the original request. There isn’t a meeting of our membership where facing a challenge that Walt doesn’t jump in with a “You know, we could probably build some software to help with that.” That type of self-starting, proactive ethic is representative of the tenants of our organization and is why I believe Walter Green is deserving of being recognized as a 2013 Superstar.

Nominated by Ivey West – Virginia Beach

  • Nomination for a training event is Gloucester County CERT. Years of Service: 2005 – 2014 Distinguishable Accomplishments/Contributions: Battle of the Hook 2013 – EXCEPTIONAL CERT SUPPORT. Hours Volunteered: 659.50 / $16,019. The Battle of the Hook, a Revolutionary War re-enactment of the 1781 Yorktown Campaign celebrating General Washington’s victory over the British Army, was held Oct. 18-20, 2013. Historic battles were brought to life by Revolutionary War re-enactors and living historians on the property of the Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester. Recreated military units from across the country encamped near the actual battlefields where the American Revolution was won after six long years of fighting. The Gloucester County Community Emergency Response Team provided stellar support for this national event sponsored by the Continental Line, British Brigade, and Brigade of the American Revolution, which was made possible by the generosity of 34 corporate and personal sponsors. CERT’s exceptional work ethic, unparalleled commitment and sense of community pride were clearly evident in the manner in which they successfully carried out all duties assigned starting as early as 6 a.m. and during the weekend executing 659.5 hours of volunteer service. Partnering with first responders, Gloucester County representatives and others, CERT duties included personally assisting handicapped spectators, delivering of encampment sites’ firewood, parking control at multiple locations, traffic control at the re-enactment site and along Main Street in the Gloucester Courthouse area, and providing informative guide information to spectators, participants and sponsors. CERT’s sterling example of servitude is worthy of emulation and puts Gloucester County CERT philosophy into practice through their activities within their community. Gloucester County CERT is truly deserving of the Superstar Team recognition for their outstanding contributions to the extremely successful Battle of the Hook 2013 reenactment that was held in Gloucester County.

Nominated by Jane Wenner – Gloucester

  • The Newport News CERT program partnered with Menchville High School to deliver 3.5 hours of disaster preparedness training to high school seniors during a three-day period. Using the Zombie Apocalypse curriculum that has been delivered and evaluated over the past 1.5 years, students learned about local risks, how to develop a plan, how to stay informed, and how to build a kit. They also learned about fire safety in both a residential and campus environment and were provided with hands-on fire extinguisher training. The capstone to the training event was teaching them community CPR with hands-on practice utilizing CPR mannequins. Ensuring the training did not end with them, the students developed videos for other students, which were televised through the school’s broadcasting system. So, while the initial hands-on training was delivered to 75 students, they passed on the knowledge to the entire school population. As part of the training, we asked that each student write a paper, expressing what they learned through the program. The feedback from students shared the common thread that they all realized how ill-prepared they were, and the training inspired them to take action to ensure for their personal safety.

Nominated by Dana Perry – Newport News

  • The Southeastern Virginia CERTEX 2014 was a full-scale exercise designed to establish a learning environment for players to exercise emergency response plans, policies and procedures as they pertain to natural disasters and was sponsored by the Portsmouth Local Emergency Planning Committee. Multiple jurisdictions (Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake) and multiple agencies (CERT, MRC, Amateur Radio, Neighborhood Watch, Commonwealth Challenge, fire, police, EMS, Sheriff, EPA, Coast Guard, Lowe’s, etc.) participated in the exercise, which took place at nTelos Pavilion in Portsmouth. The scenario was a large number of people have gathered for a free rock concert promoting the various volunteer organizations, including CERT and MRC, and a radical terrorist group detonates one or more IEDs inside the venue. CERT triaged victims and brought them out to first responders, who simulated transport. The exercise included 32 MRC volunteers (Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Western Tidewater MRC units) and 56 CERT volunteers (Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach teams). MRC volunteers played victims, and Western Tidewater MRC Coordinator Jim Steil helped to provide moulage for the event. Portsmouth and Norfolk MRC coordinators assisted with registration.

Nominated by Linda Botts – Norfolk

  • Jessica Sears-Younce is the widow of a police lieutenant who was tragically killed in 2006 when a high speed police pursuit from another jurisdiction ended when his vehicle was struck; Lt. Sears was killed instantly. Jessica has turned a tragedy into a learning experience for law enforcement officers both here in Chesterfield and throughout Virginia by presenting her story and that of her fallen husband. She has become an integral part in teaching police officers to drive safe in emergency situations. She regularly works alongside police driving instructors recounting the life she had with her husband and describing the events leading up to and following her husband’s death. Her goal in this training is that police officers will conduct pursuits safely without losing the big picture focus because pursuits can have profound implications for the public. Due to her presentations, officers will recognize the importance of the topic and take the opportunity to internalize the training. In 2013, Jessica volunteered 267 hours, which equates to a monetary value of $6,485.43. A total of 1,021 basic recruits, law enforcement officers from 187 law enforcement agencies, and 100 high school criminal justice students from two public school systems attended in-service training with Jessica. Her impact on law enforcement in this state is immeasurable.

Nominated by Captain Jason Zaccarine – Chesterfield Police Department

  • Star volunteer instructor James Sobecke is nominated for this award. He has single-handedly reached out to local community leaders to offer CERT classes and then takes on the job of teaching them. James has a utilized a number of other volunteers to assist, which has helped them be better instructors. All of his students have raved about the quality of his class and the obvious enthusiasm that he shows for the material and the program. He also has taken the lead on our crowd management classes that help CERTs be race marshals, and he is currently working on our radio usage/discipline class. He is the perfect example of how a volunteer could move up the ranks and become an extemporary asset to the residents of this county.

Nominated by Jeffrey Katz – Fairfax

  • Romeo Toro-McKenzie, our Peninsula MRC volunteer, regularly (quarterly) teaches CPR/AED and first aid to MRC and CERT volunteers across the Eastern Region. The demand for his training has reached additional groups such as the Harley Davidson Yorktown Club. During his training for non-affiliated volunteers, Romeo takes the opportunity to discuss the benefits of joining CERT or MRC. Romeo is also interested in helping to organize a regional Power Training Day for CERT and MRC volunteers.

Nominated by Teresa Winstanley – Newport News

  • Nick Warner joined the Newport News CERT program in the fall of 2011. He brings a tremendous amount of expertise to the program from his professional life. Nick works to keep the U.S. Air Force informed of potential threats to Air Combat Command personnel stationed throughout the U.S. His experience with briefing commanding officers makes him a tremendous instructor for the NN CERT program, and his technical expertise in terrorism makes that module in the Basic CERT curriculum much more in-depth and interesting because he brings in current information as soon as it is de-classified. Nick serves as the Training Team leader and is tasked with the development of supplemental training to address gaps in the Basic CERT curriculum and those identified in the Peninsula CERTEX. He has developed lesson plans for drills in interior search and rescue and triage; exterior search and rescue and extrication; medical treatment and emergency first aid; and ICS/communications. Nick also developed comprehensive job aids for CERTs that have been shared throughout the Peninsula. Drills have been conducted the first Tuesday of each month utilizing the lesson plans developed by Nick, and the response has been tremendous. Not only has it expanded the capabilities of the CERTs who attend, it keeps them active in the program and helps with retention. Nick worked 179 documented hours for a value of $4,347.91 for 2013. However, his contribution to the program is invaluable on both local and regional levels.

Nominated by Dana Perry – Newport News

  • Sean Hess, RN, Norfolk Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, has been an outstanding volunteer trainer and educator to MRC volunteers, community youth and young medical students at EVMS. Sean teaches Psychological First Aid for our unit, conducting four classes for us last year as well as stepping up to cover a class for the Virginia Beach MRC when their instructor had an emergency situation. As a former ER nurse with more than 30 years of experience, she brings passion, intelligence, sensitivity and humor to the classroom regarding dealing with emotional issues after a disaster. She has also taken the abstinence education facilitator training through the MRC and works with the Norfolk Health Department Abstinence Program, teaching youth aged 10-14 about self-respect, decision-making, setting goals and handling peer pressure. Sean also helps to facilitate communication information to medical students at the Eastern Virginia Medical School through our HOPES (Health Outreach Partnership of EVMS Students) Lecture Series. She has worked tirelessly to gather information for the students and present it to them, along with scenarios, to help them conquer some of the communication challenges they run into as new, young clinicians working with clinic patients. This growing partnership between EVMS and the Norfolk MRC and the resulting presentations are critical information for the students; communication strategies are not included in their regular curriculum. Sean has been amazing to work with, and students truly enjoy the opportunity to learn from her.

Nominated by Linda Botts – Norfolk

  • The goal of Responder Self Care training is to teach volunteers to assess their own coping skills in an attempt to reduce experiencing trauma during a disaster deployment. Peninsula MRC volunteer Mary Begor, crisis intervention community support specialist at the Department of Behavioral Health, has designed a pilot training and has introduced that training to MRC volunteers across the Eastern Region of Virginia.

Nominated by Teresa Winstanley – Newport News

  • Gaps in training were identified in the Peninsula CERTEX held in May 2013, and the Newport News CERT program took the lead in the region by developing supplemental training to address those challenges. Lesson plans have been developed for 1.5 hour drills that provide hands-on training in interior search and rescue and triage, exterior search and rescue and extrication, ICS/communications, and medical treatment and emergency first aid. The drills are fast and intense and are not PowerPoints and lectures. Only 10-15 participants are allowed to enroll at a time and they are immersed in a highly-interactive, hands-on training environment to expand and maintain proficiency in basic first responder and incident command skills. NN CERT conducts the drills on a rotational schedule the first Tuesday of each month. Thus far, each class has been at full capacity, and the feedback has been tremendous. The lesson plans have been shared throughout the region, and an open invitation to observe the drills has been extended. We continually solicit feedback from participants and constantly improve the lesson plans as they are tested. Thus far, we have offered five drills to 75 participants. Beyond increased capabilities and the maintenance of CERT skills, the hidden benefit to these drills is maintaining the involvement of CERTs and feeding their desire to receive relevant and interesting training.

Nominated by Dana Perry – Newport News

  • Hands Together Historic Triangle – Williamsburg. For two years, various organizations including the MRC come together to provide a day of services for the homeless, precariously housed and neighbors-in-need. MRC provides the lead organization partners from the Peninsula Health District and Health Occupations Students of America to provide medical stations to this underserved population. Services include blood pressure checks, glucose checks, hygiene education, body mass index screening, diabetes education and podiatry checks, immunizations, STI testing and art therapy – mental health counseling.

Nominated by Teresa Winstanley – Newport News

 

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund