Submitted by Stacie Durham, McKinney Fire Department
At around 10:30 p.m. on May 9, 2006, an F3tornado swept through Westminster, leveling and damaging many homes, and killing 3.Coordination of the response and recovery were overseen by Emergency Managementand public safety personnel from across the County, including Collin County Departmentof Homeland Security, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, and McKinney Fire Department andOffice of Emergency Management.
Emergency Managers are tasked with protecting their communities by coordinating andintegrating all activities to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against,prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts ofterrorism, or other man-made disasters. McKinney is recognized as a leader in the Stateof Texas in the field of Emergency Management, due in large part to the leadership ofEmergency Management Coordinator Karen Adkins.
With a B.S. Degree in Emergency Management from the University of North Texas, Adkinswas recently recognized for her leadership and influence on emergency managementcapabilities in Texas. Nominated by peers from across the State, Adkins was presentedwith the Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT) Distinguished ServiceAward at the EMAT Annual Conference held recently in San Marcos.
According to McKinney Fire Chief Danny Kistner, “The Distinguished Service Award is thehighest award EMAT gives to honor emergency management professionals who, throughtheir long-term efforts, have clearly influenced the field in a positive manner. Recipientsare considered the top in their field and provide leadership that inspires and promotesexcellence. The City of McKinney is excited that Karen has been recognized by her peersand thanks her for her continued efforts on behalf of not only our citizens; but, the entirestate of Texas.”
“This is such an honor to be recognized by my peers. EMAT has many deserving members working hard to ensure their communities are prepared to meet the challenges brought on by disaster,” commented Adkins. “Emergency Management is one of the most important roles government plays in the welfare and safety of its citizens. It is a term that was unfamiliar to most people prior to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. But, as McKinney has seen in recent years, Emergency Management is imperative in the preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation of not only local disasters; but, of disasters from other parts of the country, such as providing for the shelter and other needs of Hurricane Katrina evacuees in 2005.”
The City of McKinney offers opportunities for citizens to learn more about EmergencyManagement and disaster survival through the McKinney Community Emergency ResponseTeam (CERT) training program. If you are interested in this program, or in obtainingadditional information about preparing your friends and family for response to disasters,please visit www.mckinneyfire.org or call 972-547-2866.