Civil Air Patrol members have accounted for all three individual awards from the International Association of Emergency Managers, which recognized the threesome’s roles in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, tornadoes, floods, winter storms, and other challenges.
On Nov. 14, during its annual conference in Savannah, Georgia, the group recognized:
- Col. Mark Lahan of the Kansas Wing as Uniformed Services Auxiliary Emergency Manager of the Year.
- Col. Jerry Wellman of the Utah Wing as National Volunteer Emergency Manager of the Year — the highest award given to a volunteer emergency manager.
- Col. Carol Lynn of the Nevada Wing with the first Rising Star Award for having shown the most promise as a new emergency management practitioner.
Lynn and Wellman are former commanders of their wings. Lahan took command of the Kansas Wing in May.
Wellman was Utah Wing commander from September 2009-May 2013. Previously the emergency services training officer for the Salt Lake Senior Squadron, he’s now the Phoenix Cadet Squadron’s assistant officer for communication and for education and training.
The award announcement praised Wellman for being “active in enhancing his own emergency management professional development while relentlessly contributing to his community.” He taught emergency management communications classes in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado and chaired the Kearns, Utah, Metro Township Emergency Planning Commission.
He also served on the Utah State Emergency Response Team and volunteered in the state Emergency Operations Center, contributing more than 150 days during the COVID-19 response and floods, fires, and winter storms. He also served as an air operations coordinator on three search and rescue operations involving missing individuals.
Lahan previously served as the North Central Region’s deputy chief of staff for operations and assistant officer for disaster response officer, emergency services, emergency services training and search and rescue.
The IAEM award announcement lauded his “unparalleled accomplishments and unprecedented … resourcefulness.”
Along with participating in Federal Emergency Management Agency curriculum projects, Lahan provided primary staffing for the Kansas State Emergency Operations Center’s planning and logistic sections in response to COVID-19 and flood and tornado outbreaks.
Pandemic-related missions he led included the emergency transports of hundreds of blood units, coronavirus test kits, specimens, and vaccines.
Lynn served as Nevada Wing commander from October 2015-January 2019 and is now the wing’s director of operations.
The IAEM award announcement highlighted her performance as the first full-time emergency for Humboldt County, Nevada, saying she “took on these responsibilities with enthusiasm and vitality, providing excellent ideas and the agility to update the county’s emergency management operations,” and “was the perfect fit for those responsibilities.”
Lahan’s, Lynn’s, and Wellman’s honors marked the third straight year CAP received the organization’s top awards for the third straight year and fourth time in the five years since volunteers and volunteer organizations began receiving the annual honors.
IAEM-USA, the nation’s largest emergency management professional association, is a nonprofit professional organization representing more than 5,000 emergency management and homeland security professionals for local communities, state and federal disaster officials, private sector, nongovernmental organizations and others involved in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from all types of disasters, including acts of terrorism.