|Lacy E. Suiter|
In recognition of the men and women who have dedicated their careers and lives to make citizens and communities safer from both natural disasters and terrorist events, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) presents the Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service in Emergency Management Award.
The award is named in honor of Lacy E. Suiter, one of the nation's most experienced and respected emergency management and homeland security leaders.
The prestigious honor is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions throughout his or her career to any or all facets of emergency management. This includes the areas of preparedness, mitigation, response, or recovery at a local, state, regional, or national level. The career accomplishments should be of unusual merit.
|Lacy E. Suiter's widow, Norma Jean,
accepts the first Suiter Award.
The field of emergency management has grown and changed significantly since its early days of "civil defense" in the 1940s. At that time, emergency managers dealt primarily with threats of nuclear attack. By the 1960s, the focus grew to include natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. This was followed by a renewed interest in domestic defense in the 1980s. The next decade saw a re-focus on natural disasters. After the events of September 11, 2001, the attention shifted to terrorist attacks. Now professional emergency managers are hopeful that the tide will turn to what they have been calling on for several years: an all-hazards approach to disasters.
Skill sets for the professional emergency manager have also evolved. Today's emergency manager must be knowledgeable in planning, training, finance, and administration while also having the ability to work with changing political leadership in his or her state, region, or specific jurisdiction.
All emergency management agencies, departments, and organizations are invited to submit nominations for the Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service in Emergency Management Award.