Photo: Rodney King, left, David Frees, and Art Wittner receive awards from CEMA President Nate Fogg.

San Luis Valley represented at  Colorado Emergency Management Conference 

BECAUSE of COVID, it has been two years since Colorado Emergency Managers met in personThe 2022 Colorado EM Conference, held in February in Loveland, was an opportunity to get back together and share ideas. 

San Luis Valley emergency management was well represented by directors at the conference from Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties. 

Representatives with the SLV American Red Cross, Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) and Healthcare Coalition were also in attendance at this multi-day event. 

Conejos County Director of Emergency Management Rodney King was awarded the regional Emergency Manager of the Year Award from the Colorado Emergency Management Association (CEMA). This is the second time King has received this award. He has been a mentor to many, leading the way for emergency management in the future. King may be one of the longest-serving emergency management professionals in the state of Colorado.

Rio Grande County Director of Emergency Management Art Wittner was awarded the statewide Rookie of the Year Award. Wittner joined the SLV team just as COVID response began and had to hit the ground running. 

 Saguache County Deputy Director of Emergency Management Mr. David Frees was awarded the Mike Gelski Award for outstanding volunteerism and community service. Frees has dedicated thousands of hours to Saguache County and the SLV through his work on the Northern Saguache Fire Department, Saguache County Search and Rescue Team (SAR) and Emergency Management serving our communities. 

Saguache County Director of Emergency Management Robert “Bobby” Woelz was recognized by CEMA and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) for becoming a state certified emergency manager and for completing State Emergency Operations Center task books for both public information officer and planning sections chief. 

The SLV Emergency Management Team is a professional group of dedicated responders serving the SLV region. They are prepared to deploy at any time to support our communities. 

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