Gaithersburg Emergency Shelter Team Receives Employee Award From City
At the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the Emergency Overnight Shelter Management Team was presented with the Team Award for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2012.
Made up of peers from each department, Gaithersburg’s Employee Recognition Committee reviews nominations for individuals and teams on a quarterly basis. Guidelines provide for one individual and one team award per quarter. These winners are then eligible for the annual Employee and Team of the Year Awards.
The Emergency Overnight Shelter Management Team comprised of Adam Goldstein, Terrilyn Lahs, April Outman, Tim “Smitty” Smith, Gardner Torrence, and Pam Truxal from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture was named Team of the Fourth Quarter for rising to the challenge of operating the Activity Center at Bohrer Park as an overnight shelter for the first time during “Superstorm Sandy” last October.
On Saturday, October 27, 2012, Montgomery County activated a memorandum of understanding, requesting that the Center be opened as an overnight emergency shelter. Along with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff, volunteers from the Montgomery County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the American Red Cross (ARC), City of Gaithersburg staff opened the shelter to the public at noon on Monday, October 29.
As the Facility Manager, Lahs ensured appropriate City staff was available. Front desk operations were variously staffed by Goldstein, Outman, Torrence, Truxal, and Smith to sign volunteers in and out and to provide access to the administrative areas of the building. A conference room was outfitted to serve as the operations headquarters, with equipment, laptops and cell phones, along with a TV and radio to receive situational updates. Staff also set up a registration area, nursing and counseling station, and tables and chairs for meals.
Housing 19 people through the night, including two families, the City was praised for welcoming and accommodating the operation by CERT members. Montgomery County’s Chief of Aging and Disability Services John Kenney conveyed his appreciation for the outstanding job Gaithersburg staff did assisting with the management and operations of the shelter. He stated he has heard nothing but rave reviews from DHHS about the City’s professionalism and helpfulness.