By: Julie Murphy, MPIO
January 13, 2022 – Flagler County Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord will be presented the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) “Gary Arnold Award” at its annual meeting in February. This award is provided to an individual for dedicated, unselfish and enthusiastic service to improving the emergency management community in Florida.
“I am humbled to be receiving this award,” Lord said. “I really love what I do, and my amazing staff. I guess my enthusiasm shows – not a bad thing, I suppose.”
Lord was notified about the award by his own Senior Planner Ryan Simpson, who nominated Lord but was uninvolved in the selection.
“I am very excited to inform you that you have been selected by the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) Annual Awards Committee to receive the FEPA Gary Arnold Award,” Simpson wrote. “This award is provided to an individual for dedicated, unselfish and enthusiastic service to improving the Emergency Management Community in Florida.”
Simpson, while still working for Putnam County, witnessed Lord’s dedication and passion for emergency management at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything was happening so fast – information and guidance were changing daily,” Simpson said. “Jonathan did a great job setting up Zoom meetings to bring emergency management directors together from across the state to discuss the changes. His leadership transformed this group into a valuable resource for the state.”
The award commemorates the life and career of former Collier County Emergency Management Coordinator Gary S. Arnold, who died in 2001 at the age of 50 following a work shift supporting a wildfire operation. He had only worked in emergency management for three years after a 20-year career in radio and television.
“Jonathan is very deserving of this award, and has been an asset to the organization in a number of ways,” said FEPA Executive Director Eve Rainey. “He’s always willing to take on leadership roles, like serving as treasurer for 10 years, despite his very demanding day-to-day work position.”
The Florida Emergency Preparedness Association was created in 1956 to help professional Emergency Managers work to protect the people of Florida.