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NPSTC Announces 2017 Award Winners
National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
 
 
NPSTC relies on you – our hard-working volunteers to accomplish our important work on behalf of public safety telecommunications.  Every year we recognize the hard work and commitment our volunteers provide while working full-time jobs.  The 2017 winners received their awards at the Governing Board meeting on September 6.
DeMello Award 2017
From Left: Doug Aiken, NPSTC Vice Chair; Kevin McGinnis, NASEMSO Representative to Governing Board and FirstNet Board Member; Ralph Haller, NPSTC Chair; and Paul Patrick, NPSTC Vice Chair
 
Richard DeMello Award, Sponsored by IMSA.  The Richard DeMello Award was presented to Kevin McGinnis, an individual who has demonstrated the highest levels of personal and professional conduct and performance in the local, state, and national public safety communications arena.  Chief McGinnis's understanding of both rural and metropolitan response makes him unique to the community.  He is a leader in work to improve EMS responses nationwide.  He has been diligent in his efforts to have EMS recognized on a national platform.  Due to his willingness to work the long hours and time away from home, EMS has a prominent role in the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network as FirstNet is being developed.
Chairman's Award 2017
From Left: Doug Aiken, NPSTC Vice Chair; David Furth, FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Deputy Bureau Chief; Ralph Haller, NPSTC Chair; and Paul Patrick, NPSTC Vice Chair
 
Chairman's Award, Sponsored by Ralph Haller.  The NPSTC Chairman's Award, created to recognize one individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, was awarded to FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Deputy Bureau Chief, David Furth.  Throughout Mr. Furth's career at the FCC, he has demonstrated exceptional skills in policy making and management.  He has been a friend to public safety and has crafted many decisions at the FCC that have improved public safety communications.
Lifetime Achievement 2017
From Left:  Doug Aiken, NPSTC Vice Chair; John Powell, Senior Consulting Engineer; Ralph Haller, NPSTC Chair; and Paul Patrick, NPSTC Vice Chair
 
Lifetime Achievement Award, Sponsored by NENA.  The NPSTC Lifetime Achievement Award reflects the many years the recipient has worked for the interests of public safety communications nationwide.  The recipient, John Powell, has positively influenced technical and operational policy in many ways over his lifetime and has demonstrably improved public safety communications.  Mr. Powell has dedicated his life to the study of public safety communications.  As an active participant in the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC), he was very involved with writing and reviewing many documents that are still used today.  Mr. Powell is one of the authors of the Communications Interoperability Continuum used internationally to illustrate the five areas that must be addressed by public safety agencies to ensure successful operations.  He served as NPSTC's Interoperability Committee Chair for many years and continues to support public safety communications through a number of volunteer and professional engagements.
Hertz Award, Sponsored by APCO International.  The NPSTC Hertz Award was created to recognize the exceptional work of one or more individuals, who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership.  This year's winner is Claudio Lucente. Mr. Lucente served as Chair of the NPSTC Broadband Deployable Systems Working Group, a joint effort of the U.S. and Canadian government to study how these systems could support the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network in both countries.  As Senior Technical Advisor, Defence Research and Development Canada-Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), Mr. Lucente led a group of 180 volunteers in the development of a 236-page report that is the first comprehensive examination of the technical, operational, and policy factors involving deployable systems.
DJ Atkinson Technical Award Sponsored by Jeff Bratcher.  The DJ Atkinson Technical Award, created in 2012 to honor NTIA engineer, DJ Atkinson's work, recognizes individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated exceptional technical support to NPSTC and the public safety communications community.  Dean Skidmore was chosen for his many past and ongoing contributions to NPSTC to further excellence in public safety communications.  Mr. Skidmore has extensive technical knowledge of LMR and LTE networks and closely follows the 3GPP International Standards development activities.  He has been participating in, and providing key input to, many of the NPSTC Committees and Working Groups, including the Broadband Deployable Systems Working Group, the LMR to LTE Integration and Interoperability Working Group, and the Public Safety IoT Working Group, where he serves as the vice chair.
Leadership Award Sponsored by NASEMSO.  The NPSTC Leadership Award was created to recognize individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated exceptional personal and professional conduct.  This year's recipient is Tom Sorley. He served as the Technology Committee Chair for many years as NPSTC tackled many complicated issues, including LMR radio programming standardization and intrinsically safe radio standards.  As a visionary leader, he also saw the need to develop a set of Working Groups to write requirements for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.  Mr. Sorley was recently chosen to become the Chairman of FirstNet's Public Safety Advisory Committee. NPSTC looks forward to his continuing leadership in his new role.
Participant's Award Sponsored by NASEMSO.  The NPSTC Participant's Award was created to recognize individuals and/or organizations that have supported NPSTC and the public safety communications community.  The winners have consistently supported public safety and communications issues in their reporting.  This year, NPSTC is recognizing Paul Kirby, TRDaily; Sandra Wendelken, Mission Critical Communications; Donny Jackson, Urgent Communications; and Andrew Seybold, Public Safety Advocate.
These individuals are excellent reporters and writers.  They report issues in a timely fashion, keeping the public safety world abreast of important actions and decisions affecting first responders on actions taken at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and on the ongoing progress and decisions of FirstNet.
Paul Kirby works to report issues as they occur, and NPSTC appreciates his timely coverage of complicated, relevant, and interesting topics across a wide range of categories from Congress to the FCC to FirstNet.
Sandra Wendelken provides timely reporting on public safety communications and has included public safety representatives on the editorial board of Mission Critical Communications/Radio Resource International.  She encourages public safety input and frequently reaches out to NPSTC Committee and Working Group Chairs for information to create articles on NPSTC's work to address the needs of first responders.
Donny Jackson has been a big supporter of public safety. From his on-scene videos at shows like IWCE and APCO, to his daily columns at IWCE's Urgent Communications, Mr. Jackson strives for a balanced, informed approach.  His topics are relevant and frequently require a great deal of technical research on emerging technologies.
Andy Seybold has been involved with public safety his whole life.  His commitment to the NPSBN and work to support public safety communications has been tireless and sometimes controversial.  Never afraid to explore controversial issues and comment publicly, Mr. Seybold has supported what he believes is right for public safety communications.
The contributions of all of our award winners have played a significant role in the work NPSTC does to make public safety telecommunications better.  NPSTC and the public safety communications community thank you.
        
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NPSTC is a federation of organizations whose mission is to improve public safety communications and interoperability through collaborative leadership.
Support provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, and the National Program and Protection Directorate, Office of Emergency Communications.  Points of view or opinions expressed are those of the originators and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
 
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