Michael Whitehead wins Craig Irwin Memorial Award
ATLANTA – Florida mass care coordinator Michael Whitehead of Tallahassee won the Craig Irwin Memorial Award this week at the FEMA Region IV annual Individual Assistance Conference in Atlanta.
The Craig Irwin Memorial Award recognizes excellence in service and support with the individual assistance network.
“I’m honored to receive such an award,” Whitehead said. “I want to thank FEMA and all the state officers for giving me such a tremendous honor. I promise to continue working to increase our nation’s mass care capabilities.”
Following a disaster, individual assistance and/or mass care programs coordinate with federal, state, local, and voluntary/non-profit entities to provide recovery assistance to survivors.
Whitehead serves as the mass care coordinator as part of Florida’s State Emergency Response Team and is an employee of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation where he has worked for more than 25 years.
In addition to working disaster events in Florida, Whitehead has also assisted other states including Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana during Hurricane Gustav in 2008, New Jersey during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Maryland during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Following his work in Maryland, Whitehead took two weeks of vacation time to volunteer with the American Red Cross in New York City to assist with additional Sandy response and recovery efforts.
The Craig Irwin Memorial Award is named for the long-time individual assistance and mass care officer for the state of Tennessee. Irwin, a Fairview, Tenn. native, died at the age of 60 in January 2009.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.