(BROOKLYN) – Derek May of Pomfret was recently recognized with the Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC) 2018 Emergency Manager of the Year Award. May serves as Emergency Management Director for the town of Pomfret and is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH).
Nominees for the annual NESEC award are selected from emergency management communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. May was nominated by Dan Meade, Emergency Management Director from Hampton, CT, and was selected by the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) as the state nominee.
May received his award in front of family, friends, peers, and community partners at the annual Region 4 Emergency Management Director meeting held April 9, 2018 at the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments office. The meeting was also attended by DEMHS Deputy Commissioner Regina Rush-Kittle and State Emergency Management Director William J. Hackett.
“I’m honored to receive this year’s award, especially considering all the other emergency management professionals who also deserve recognition for the good work they do in their communities every day,” said May. “I’m fortunate to have a job which allows me to work on emergency planning, and I believe the operational experience I gain through my volunteer roles makes me a better planner and a better partner during a response.”
DEMHS Region 4 Coordinator Mike Caplet presented May with the award, after citing a long list of his local, regional, and national contributions. Among them was May’s planning and participation in numerous preparedness drills and exercises; his successful coordination which established a four-town, multi-jurisdictional shelter agreement with the American Red Cross (ARC) and DEMHS; service on multiple emergency and safety committees; and his deployment as an ARC volunteer to Texas as an Emergency Response Vehicle driver for Hurricane Harvey.
“Derek is well respected by his peers and is a trusted resource who the northeast CT emergency management community continually looks to for guidance and leadership,” commented Caplet. “We all have the highest personal and professional regard for him and are pleased to present him with this award.”
May serves as Safety Officer and EMT for the Pomfret Fire Department and is an EMT with Woodstock Ambulance. He is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) instructor, a ham radio operator, and has been a unit leader for the Northeast CT Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), based out of NDDH, since 2008.
“The community is so fortunate to have someone as talented and hard working as Derek working in our corner,” commented Director of Health Susan Starkey. “We at NDDH are grateful for expertise and his ability to keep us linked to all of our preparedness partners.”
May also deployed to Hurricane Florence and is contracted through NDDH to provide Emergency Preparedness services to the Eastern Highlands Health District.
“I like learning new things, and I like bringing people together to find solutions to problems we have in common,” he explained. “When things go wrong, we all need to work together and support each other. Being involved with multiple organizations – in both volunteer and professional capacities - makes me a more effective partner.”
NESEC 2018 Emergency Manager of the Year Derek May (center) with (l to r) Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Region 4 Coordinator Mike Caplet; State Emergency Management Director William J. Hackett; DEMHS Deputy Commissioner Regina Rush-Kittle, and Town of Pomfret First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson.