DOINews: BLM Alaska Fire Service Honored Twice by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 2013 Flood Recovery Efforts

Last edited 09/05/2019

When the remote interior village of Galena, Alaska, was devastated by flooding in 2013, the Alaska Fire Service stepped up to lend a hand to the residents and many local partners. Last month, the employees were recognized by the Alaska regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in both the Teamwork and Outstanding Partner categories.

BLM Alaska employees pose for a group photo with the USFWS Regional Director's Excellence Award
Galena Zone employees pose for a photo with the USFWS Regional Director's Excellence Award. From left: Hudson Plass, Kathlen San, Matthew Kilgriff, Ryan McPherson, Kay Hoch, Greg Bryce, Bob Schober, Willie Branson, Cathy Keyse, Randy Esmailka and Karl Franke.

From mucking and gutting buildings to the removal of an enormous amount of debris, the recovery effort required many different skills and abilities. (Click here to read last year's BLM story in oneINTERIOR about the Galena flood assistance. Click here to read it on BLM Alaska's website.)

Van sitting outside the Alaska Fire Center; Rear window reads

This van sat outside the Alaska Fire Service dining hall in Galena during the summer of 2013. The dining hall provided approximately 750 meals per day to staff, cleanup workers and displaced residents.

In one nomination, the USFWS noted, "Galena Zone AFS staff provided incredible assistance during the flood recovery efforts this past summer. Any available space on scheduled aircraft operations for personnel or materials was made available to the refuge. The kitchen staff was simply awesome and allowed volunteers the time to concentrate on the work they were preforming and not have to worry about food preparations and cleanup. Without this partnership, work teams could not have been nearly as efficient and the added costs of shipping materials and people would have been significant."

Another included, "From the expertise in mechanical systems to the willingness of team members to do some downright nasty, mundane jobs, each team member demonstrated an incredible professionalism. …"

Kudos to the Alaska Fire Service!

By: Bureau of Land Management

April 29, 2014

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