KEMA Honors Outstanding Emergency Mgt. Professionals

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A group of professionals who work to keep Kansans safe earned honors Thursday night.

The Kansas Emergency Management Association held its awards dinner as part of its annual conference.

The group gave its Outstanding Service Award to the Douglas County Local Emergency Planning Association, while lifetime memberships were awarded to Bill Guy of Reno County, Jim Schmidt of Butler County and Deborah Swoboda of Washington County.

Cathy Hernandez of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management was named Randy Reinecker Instructor of the Year; Kingman Co. Sheriff Randy Hill was awarded as the Leon Mannell Outstanding Emergency Management Support Professional; Randy Blehm of Meade Co. Emergency Management as Col. Mahlon G. Weed Outstanding New Emergency Management Professional; and Keith Haberer of Russell/Ellsworth County is the group's Owen U. Turrentine Emergency Management Professional of the Year.

The group also awarded a special recognition certificate for best practices in cooperative partnerships with the National Weather Service to the emergency management programs in Barton, Butler, Ellsworth, Kingman, Harper, Marion, McPherson, Reno, Rice, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick and Sumner counties for their cooperative response to a tornado outbreak April 14, 2012.

13's Melissa Brunner served as emcee for the event for the fifth year. To show their appreciation, KEMA presented her with an honorary member award.