Louisville emergency planner wins national preparedness award

Published April 29, 2015
George Minges, Louisville District emergency operations, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Preparedness Planner of the Year.

George Minges, Louisville District emergency operations, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Preparedness Planner of the Year.

Be prepared.

It’s the motto of the Boy Scouts, but one could also call it the credo of the Louisville District’s George Minges.

A former Scout himself, Minges, an emergency management specialist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, was recently named USACE Civil Preparedness Planner of the Year. The award recognizes his contributions and accomplishments related to overall preparations and planning for all hazards activities in 2013.

 “George has completed several projects that increased the district’s preparedness and ability to respond to any disaster,” said Don Walker, Louisville District emergency operations manager, who nominated Minges for the award.

Minges recognized the need for a virtual emergency operations center plan to be used when district employees are unable to travel, Walker said, and he demonstrated his planning skills in the development of standard operating procedures for the district’s crisis action team and flood fight team.

Another of Minges’ achievements was the development of the Fast Assessment Screening Tool, which uses qualitative, empirical data to determine the risk of levee failure during a flood response mission. This critical information enables emergency operations personnel to respond quickly to a flood event, Walker said.

“It is great to be recognized by my peers for my contributions,” Minges said. “I am passionate about and enjoy working for the Emergency Operations Center.”

In addition to his work for the Corps, Minges spends his off duty hours as a first responder within his local community. He serves the fire department in Oldham County, Kentucky, as a volunteer fire fighter. As such, he has been involved in several successful fire suppression operations and medical calls and was recognized as the Volunteer Rookie Fire Fighter of the Year.

Minges also started the county’s first search and rescue team, which works in conjunction with other emergency services including the fire department, law enforcement, and the county’s chapter of the Red Cross.

If that weren’t enough, Minges even takes time to share his knowledge and expertise with organizations such as the Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America.

“We’re fortunate to have you on our team,” USACE Commander Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick told Minges in a letter. “Your efforts significantly increased the disaster response capability of the Louisville District.”

Minges also received congratulatory letters from Maj. Gen. John Peabody, USACE Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations; and Brig. Gen. Richard Kaiser, USACE Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Commander.

“I consider this award and the letters to be the highest honor I have received during my career with the Louisville District,” Minges said. “It’s not something that happens every day.”