Category Archives: People

Employee Spotlight

Hurricane Maria Deployment Awards Presentation

Among the many missions that the Corps undertakes each year, disaster relief is among them. The Corps deploys personnel to assist with relief efforts in times of crises. Oftentimes, these missions involve relief efforts pertaining to but not limited to hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Team members work 12 hour days seven days a week for 30 days at a time, with some deployments lasting more than 90 days.

During 2017 and 2018 a catastrophic hurricane pummeled the Caribbean (Maria) causing this region to suffer severe damage, with aftereffects still being felt in 2019. As a result, personnel were needed to assist with various recovery missions. Today, some of the deployed employees are being recognized for their efforts.

The Little Rock District deployed 53 team members to assist with roofing missions during Hurricane Maria.

Deployed employees being recognized for their efforts during Hurricane Maria.

Amber Turnage, Benjamin Bremer, and Mark Harris received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for their contributions to the roofing missions.

Ryan King, Telia Mahomes and David Howell received the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for their contributions to the roofing missions.

Randy Devenport received the Superior Civilian Service Award for his efforts as a local government liaison.  Devenport deployed multiple times for over 90 days.

Emergency deployments are a great opportunity for employees to serve individuals and communities impacted by natural disasters and gain valuable experience outside of their normal USACE job,” said Tony Hill, the Little Rock District’s supervisory emergency manager.

The experience gained in 2017 with Hurricane Maria proved invaluable as the entire SWL Roofing Team deployed  to Hurricane Michael in Florida this past year.

“The hours they were working and how hard everybody was working was just humbling. I was so proud to go down there and see the great things our team was doing. It was an outstanding job,” said Maj. Wade Welsh deputy commander of the Little Rock District.

 


Whitney Lake Park Ranger recognized for saving drowning victims

Whitney, TEXAS – Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe received the Fort Worth District Castle Hero Award Nov. 16 at Whitney Lake.

The Castle Hero Award was established at the request of former District Commander Colonel (ret) Christopher Martin, to recognize district employees who in the course of their duties, have taken direct action which resulted in saving a life.

Based on Briscoe’s actions during a recent drowning incident at Soldier’s Bluff Park at Whitney Lake, demonstrates why he is deserving of this award.

On July 31, 2018, Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe responded to a local law enforcement dispatch on the radio for a drowning in progress at Soldier’s Bluff Park, Whitney Lake. Ranger Briscoe was near the park and arrived in less than three minutes, well ahead of any other first responders.  He took a rescue throw bag and two personal flotation devices and responded to the shoreline where the incident was occurring.  When he arrived, one male – who later was confirmed as a fatality, had already gone under and two more men were struggling in the water.  Two of the individuals had been swimming and cliff jumping, and the other jumped in to help. The shoreline is a sheer rock bluff, approximately eight feet above the waterline, with no way up for hundreds of feet in each direction.

Ranger Briscoe threw a life jacket to the individual who jumped in to help, and he was able to put it on and stay afloat.  Another bystander was trying to help the other young man, who was struggling to stay afloat in the rough water, as he pounded against the cliff. Ranger Briscoe threw him the rescue throw bag, but he was too fatigued and panicked to hold on to it. Briscoe then threw the second PFD and he was able to hold onto it and regain some composure.  He was not able to pull himself up with the rope, so Ranger Briscoe pulled him up the cliff face and onto shore.  First responders then arrived and assisted the young men up the cliff and onto shore.

Ranger Briscoe is relatively new to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District.  He is a former Army Ranger and responded very well to an emergency situation.  Despite one tragic loss, without Ranger Briscoe’s timely and effective response, the event would have almost certainly involved three fatalities.

Park Ranger Jarod Briscoe received the Fort Worth District Castle Hero Award Nov. 16 at Whitney Lake.
The Castle Hero Award was established at the request of former District Commander Colonel (ret) Christopher Martin, to recognize district employees who in the course of their duties, have taken direct action which resulted in saving a life.