SAN ANTONIO – As the panel discussions, informational workshops, and networking opportunities conclude at the Texas Emergency Management Conference, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) reported record turnout for one of the largest emergency management conferences in the nation.
Over 3,000 attendees from more than 16 states registered to attend The Conference, which brought together first responders, emergency managers from local jurisdictions, elected officials, state and federal agencies, tribal communities, and private-sector partners from across the nation for the largest event of its kind in Texas that provides an unparalleled opportunity for the exchange of ideas, access to latest technology and research in the field of emergency management.
TDEM also announced the winners of Texas emergency management awards, which were announced at a Thursday luncheon recognizing the accomplishments of emergency management in Texas since the last time attendees met at The Conference in 2019.
“These award winners represent the best in emergency management across Texas and TDEM is honored to celebrate their accomplishments,” said Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd. “As we continue to work together to improve preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts, we turn to these individuals and organizations who lead by example, chart new courses, and motivate us to find the best in our teams and ourselves.”
Winners were selected based on various criteria for each category, but each ultimately proved their leadership, courage, and dedication to serving their communities during times of disaster.
Texas Emergency Management Hometown Hero
The Emergency Management Hometown Hero Award recognizes an individual or group that exhibited extraordinary service and leadership in helping fellow residents during an emergency situation, disaster or crisis scene.
2020: Gulf Coast Rescue Squad
2021: Meals on Wheels Corpus Christi
2022: Highland Lakes Crisis Network
Texas Emergency Management Spouse of the Year
This award recognizes a spouse who not only contributes to emergency management by supporting their spouse but also makes their own contributions to emergency management community.
2022: Micah Hale, husband of Port of Corpus Christi Authority Emergency Manager Danielle Hale
Texas Emergency Management Partnership Recognition
The Texas Emergency Management Partnership Award recognizes agencies that demonstrated a significant commitment to creating a strong partnership with the local government officials and participation in local community preparedness initiatives.
2020: Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC)
2021: DHR Health
2022: BCFS Health and Human Services
The Doctor Chuck Bauer Award
The Dr. Chuck Bauer Award recognizes medical professionals and their contributions to emergency management through incident response, disaster planning or other provision of healthcare or instructional preparedness.
2020: Dr. John Zerwas
2021: Dr. Ray Callas
2022: Dr. Wright Hartsell
Texas Emergency Management Agency of the Year
The Texas Emergency Management Council Agency of the Year Award recognizes outstanding support provided by an agency to the communities of Texas during disasters.
2020: Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
2021: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
2022: Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
Texas Emergency Management Leadership Award
The Texas Emergency Management Leadership Award recognizes an individual, within or outside the formal emergency management community whose outstanding achievements demonstrated a positive and dramatic change in emergency management departments and/or the community.
2020: Irish Hancock, City of Arlington Emergency Management Administrator, Irish Hancock
2021: El Paso Deputy City Manager, Mario D’Agostino
2022: BCFS President and CEO, Kevin Dinnin
Texas Emergency Management Hall of Fame
Inductees to the Texas Emergency Management Hall of Fame is for those who have dedicated their life to enhancing emergency management in the state and the nation. These men and women represent the best of us in leading by example, charting new courses, and motivating us to find the best in ourselves. Our lives are better because they have served and show us what it means to be experts in our field.
2020: TDEM Deputy Chief of Operations (retired) Mike Miller
2021: TDEM Division Chief of Response(retired) Gisela Ryan-Bunger
2022: Wharton County Emergency Management Coordinator (retired) Andy Kirkland
2022: Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom
2022: Baylor Scott & White Director of Emergency Management and Business Continuity Nick Sloan
Chief Kidd also announced The Conference 2023 will take place at the Fort Worth Convention Center from May 30 through June 2, 2023. Registration information for The Conference 2023 will be announced at a later date.