FWS Fire Professionals Honored for Hurricane Recovery Work
Tom Crews, fire management officer for Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, was honored early this year with the Southeast Region's All Risk Management Program Award for his leadership in serving as incident commander for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hurricane Katrina Response Team in Louisiana in fall 2005.
The award was presented to Crews by Roger Boykin, Southeast Regional fire management coordinator at the region’s annual fire management meeting in Orlando, Florida. The regional award follows a January 25 national ceremony where 125 Department of the Interior employees, including Crews, were honored by Secretary Gale Norton for their contributions to hurricane relief. Twelve other Fish and Wildlife Service employees were honored alongside Crews during the national ceremony including Russ Watson, Paul Yakupzack and Mark Parr of Louisiana; Glen Stratton and William D. Wolfe of Florida; Rick Huffines, William Ferguson and Fred Wetzel of Georgia; Paul Camp of Colorado; Curtis Heaton of Arizona; Richard Johnston of Texas and LeaAnne Thorne of Washington, D.C.
As incident commander, Crews credited his success to the quality of people on his team, as well as the training and support he received from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"It was a situation where everyone had to 'think out of the box' in order to meet our goals, and everyone rose to the occasion," said Crews."This award is especially meaningful to me because it was given by my peers, the fire management personnel in this region."
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