FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
DAVIE COUNCILMEMBER MICHELLE WHITMAN RECEIVES 2021 FLORIDA CERT DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD
DAVIE, Fla. - Town of Davie’s District 1 Councilmember, Michelle Whitman was awarded the 2021 Florida Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Distinguished Service Award at the recently held Florida CERT Conference. Councilmember Whitman is one of 20 CERT volunteers nationwide to have ever received this award.
Annually, the award is presented to a CERT volunteer for their outstanding contribution to the CERT program and community as an unpaid program manager, instructor, team leader, or general volunteer.
Whitman developed a keen interest in the CERT program while completing her training in 2015. She was later appointed as the Davie CERT Team Leader in 2017 and continues to serve in this capacity. Throughout her tenure as team leader, she has assisted with more than 70 CERT members to be certified.
“CERT relies on having community advocates who understand the benefit of this program which Councilmember Whitman has championed for many years,” Davie Fire Rescue Chief Julie Downey said. “She is one of the driving forces behind the ongoing success of the Davie CERT program which continues to be an alluring program for community members to participate in and be trained.”
Whitman dedicated more than 350 hours earlier this year at the Town’s COVID-19 vaccination point of dispensing (POD) as a way to assist residents to receive their vaccinations. The CERT team collaboratively donated more than 900 hours of service at the POD.
The Davie Fire Rescue Department implemented the CERT program in 2009 and has trained over 600 community members since the start of the program and currently has 30 active members. Annually, Davie Fire Rescue offers a free eight-week training twice per year to anyone living or working in the Town. For more information regarding the Davie CERT program, please visit www.davie-fl.gov/CERT.
The CERT program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks.
About the Florida CERT Association Inc.
The Florida CERT Association Inc. is a 501(c)3 (not-for-profit) organization established in 2001, whose primary goal is the support of statewide training and education in disaster planning/emergency preparedness for citizens and established CERT teams.
From left to right: Davie Fire Rescue Chief Julie Downey, District 1 Town Councilmember Michelle Whitman, and Emergency Manager George McCord.
Leona Henry, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager
Sussette Rodriguez, Public Relations Coordinator
Ariana Briceno, Public Relations Assistant