On Saturday, August 27, 2016, Steve Mitchell was chosen as the 2016 Florida CERT Association CERT Member of the Year at the annual Florida CERT Association Conference Awards dinner. Steve has made a number of contributions to the team over the years, and this award is a reflection of his efforts.
When it comes to volunteerism and CERT, Steve's is the first name that comes to mind. His commitment to the team and the CERT program is second to none. As a member of the Coral Springs Leadership team Steve gets involved in many things. It would be difficult to talk in detail about everything Steve has done for the team and CERT in general this past year, following are bullet items of Steve's participation:
- Steve responds to every activation whenever he is available. This past year he has responded to over a dozen calls including fire rehab, gas leak/hazmat and missing person calls. Steve is EVOC certified and is often called on to drive the teams Canteen to scenes.
- Steve has led or participated in almost every marketing or public education event the team has done. Steve's efforts have directly led to new trainees and growth of the team. Steve also does public education events in conjunction with the FD and has trained dozens of citizens in hands only CPR and fire extinguisher usage.
- Steve has attended almost every Leadership Team and Member meeting this past year. As a Leadership Team member and Zone Captain he has worked to coordinate some meeting topics and is always there to support his teammates with anything from logistics to inventory.
- Steve acts as the team's major events and communications coordinator. As such he has setup and maintains the teams mail delivery system and is responsible for sending out monthly bulletins as well as any special mailings. He also gets involved in coordinating any major events for the team.
- Steve has attended the State Conference for the last several years and last year he took the train the trainer class. The first opportunity Steve had he asked to help start teaching. At the next new member training, Steve was afforded the opportunity to teach the Fire Suppression module. He also sat in on and assisted with several aspects of the remaining training as well as the graduation ceremony. Steve is working toward taking on more training responsibility.
- Steve led the initiative to create, maintain and support a team website at www.coralspringscert.org. The site has a public and private side. The site has received accolades from both members and FD leadership. This was a large undertaking and Steve stays on top of maintenance, new features and even responding to 'Contact Us' requests. There are several new areas Steve is currently working on.
- Steve volunteered and drove the Canteen in the City's holiday parade.
- Steve is always looking for and participating in advanced training opportunities.
- On top of all the team responsibilities Steve stepped up to another very large and important role this year. A successful fundraising event previously hosted by a sister team called the Fire Prevention Family Fun Day has grown into a large new event this year known as Florida Safety Fest. This will be a county wide event for all Broward CERT teams and will be hosted in Coral Springs. Steve didn't hesitate to jump in and create a website for this event at www.floridasafetyfest.org.
- Steve also volunteered to be the demos and safety related display chairperson. As such Steve is working with the City of Coral Springs FD and PD as well as the entire Safety Fest board to coordinate all the live demonstrations such as extrications, K9, air rescue, etc. as well as all the military, law enforcement and related vendor booths and displays.
Steve is so passionate about safety and helping people and driven by his own child with special needs that he reaches out and performs first aid and safety with neighboring teams at such incredible events like Surfers For Autism and other events and holidays. He's also known to have sleighed around as Santa Claus spreading CERT holiday cheer.
Steve is very well respected by his teammates as well as City officials and neighboring teams. Above is a sample of the reasons why Steve is so valuable to our team and why we nominated Steve for the State CERT Member of the year.
Florida CERT Association CERT Member of the Year
2016 Florida CERT Association CERT Member of the Year.