Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX, Feb. 27, 2019 – The Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT) has presented the Hays County Office of Emergency Services its Excellence in Emergency Management Award for “the superb emergency management program in Hays County.” The award honors outstanding state and local emergency management projects, activities, and campaigns that further the goals of saving lives and protecting property by mitigating, preparing for, responding to, or recovering from disasters and emergencies in Texas.
Hays County Director of the Office of Emergency Services and Emergency Management Coordinator Kharley Smith accepted the award on behalf of the County at EMAT’s annual meeting in San Marcos.
“Our superb emergency management will continue to benefit our county under the leadership of Kharley Smith, and teamwork by all Hays county departments and our elected officials,” Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, Director of Emergency Management, said.
“I attribute the success of our program to the strong support we have from the Commissioners Court and first responders throughout Hays County, as well as our dedicated Hays County OES staff,” Smith said. “Emergency management is a team effort, and we’re fortunate in Hays County to work together to protect our citizens.”
In the past year, OES staff has assisted Burnet and Llano counties during disasters, sponsored a countywide Preparedness Fair along with other jurisdictions in Hays County, added to the Hays County flood warning system, and developed an animated video on Standard Response Protocol for young children in conjunction with the Texas State University Institute for Government Innovation. The OES Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which trains citizens in basic disaster response skills, is one of the most robust in the state.
Hays County’s Standard Response Protocol, developed by a task force of first responders countywide, has been adopted as a statewide program by the Governor’s Office and the Texas School Safety Center. In 2014 the Texas Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities presented Hays County OES with its J.C. Montgomery Child Safety award for its leadership in child safety.
In January Smith received CAPCOG’s Parmer Volunteer Award for her work on CAPCOG’s advisory committees and her willingness to share her knowledge of emergency management with other jurisdictions throughout the state and country. She has also been recognized as a San Marcos Shining Star under 40 and a Distinguished San Marcos CISD Alumni.
In 2017 Recovery Specialist Courtney Goss received the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s first Hometown Hero Award for her work following the 2015 floods in Hays County, and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Jones sits on the National Association of City and County Health Officials accreditation board.
Countywide emergency information is available at www.HaysInformed.com, which has links for following OES on Twitter and Facebook.