LAKEWOOD – On Tuesday, September 24th, West Pierce Fire & Rescue’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Colleen Adler, was among the winners of the 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. These awards recognized individuals who have taken action to prepare their communities for a disaster or emergency event.
Adler started her career with the Lakewood Fire Department as a dispatcher with Fire Comm. She later became the Assistant Director of Fire Comm and in 2008, became the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. One of her driving forces in being in this position comes from being on the other end of a 911 call. She loves the idea of preparing people for an emergency before needing to call for help.
Adler has overseen the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) since becoming the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, which now has more than 400 members. These volunteers spend 20-24 hours in CERT training, then help their own community in the event of an emergency and response from the fire department is delayed. Their dedication to this team is crucial for neighbors helping neighbors. These volunteers also help to staff the CERT booth at events and recruit new members. This program has been wildly successful since its inception and continues to grow.
“Everyone at West Pierce Fire & Rescue is extremely proud of all of the work Colleen has done to help prepare the citizens in our community for an emergency. We are very excited to see her being recognized at a national level for her work,” said Fire Chief Jim Sharp.
West Pierce Fire & Rescue would like to thank Colleen for her dedication, hard work and enthusiasm in this program. Without her, the program may not have looked the same as it does today. For more information about West Pierce’s CERT team or training, please visit www.westpiercecert.org.