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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

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  Archived Posts From: 2010


Keeping Essential Services Running

Written on: March 2nd, 2010 in Recognizing State Employees

I’m almost done blogging about the storm—after all, most of us are sick of the snow—but there are still a few stories that I want to share with you to recognize some of the many Delawareans who have been working very hard.

When state offices are closed, you may have heard that “essential personnel should report to duty as scheduled.”  Most realize that plow drivers, police officers, soldiers from the National Guard, firefighters and paramedics are essential, but there are many others who run services that people depend on.  These include corrections officers; maintenance personnel; HelpLine, 911 and other hotline teams; hospital and long-term care staff; psychiatric social workers; public works and utilities personnel; horticulturalists (who help with snow removal); the team from the Delaware Veterans’ Home; and some of our Court staff, along with others.

Here are just a few examples:

From Ronald Zawora: The team at Sussex Correctional Institutespent hours that turned into days removing snow so that the institution could continue with their day-to-day operations uninterrupted.”

From Maria Ramos: “During this last storm I witnessed so many acts of kindness and hard work from your correctional staff. I would also like to mention that after being stuck at work all that time, my co-worker Andrew Gallaher helped five motorists stuck in the snow get free, before going home to get much needed rest. We are so proud to be a part of your team here at Morris—everyone from the Warden on down deserves recognition for all their hard work.”

From John Thorn at the Department of Health and Social Services: “Richard Crismond deserves recognition for the time he selflessly put in serving Holloway Campus throughout the last snow storm. Richard stayed on campus serving the community without pay in his off time. Richard was here shoveling sidewalks, assisting other officers on calls, answering phones and assisting the campus maintenance crew.  Officer Crismond slept in the office for five days relentlessly using an armchair as his bed and the desk as his pillow without once complaining.”

From Debra Faith at Emily P. Bissell Hospital:  “During the recent snowstorms, Tommy Adams (nursing supervisor) along with Mike Topolski (materials management) coordinated rides for staff to get to and from work.  Tommy spent the nights, sleeping VERY little.  Both he and Mike drove staff to and from the facility and split the routes (one going north, one going south).  This included not only the nurses and CNAs [certified nursing assistants], but also those from dietary and other departments who were needed.  Because of their bravery on the treacherous roads, our most compromised population continued to receive excellent care.”  Team members from the Governor Bacon Health Center and the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill were also praised for their tremendous efforts to help colleagues get to the facilities through the snow.

David Ciamaricone of the Mobile Crisis Intervention Service reported that: Three psychiatric social workers, Joe Arnauskas, Anne Igou, and, Terri Evans “all made the decision to spend the night and sleep in the building so that they  would be here for their scheduled shifts. They were not asked to do this but rather did it on their own and because of their commitment to the unit and the people we serve.” Other staff were able to make it in, while some took calls from home.  David continues,  “They were able to man our 24-hour hotline and assist people in finding shelters, putting them in touch with emergency services and in general calming those upset by the amount of snow and loss of power.”

From Judge Alan Davis: “Few are aware that the Justice of the Peace Court also remains open in several locations throughout the state, no matter the conditions. Though the Court may not experience the highest volume of business in emergencies, the institution is always there fulfilling its Constitutional mandate and the individuals that make up the institution are on duty, away from family and the comforts and safety of home. Many performed selfless acts for the benefit of their co-workers: one JP Court manager volunteered to come to one of the 24-hour courts that she lives close to – even though she doesn’t usually work in that location and her work site was closed – because it would save other personnel from making a longer journey through dangerous conditions. One court clerk in Sussex County was on duty 22 straight hours, sleeping for only a short period on bags of shredded paper piled together as a makeshift mattress. I am very proud that this institution and its judges and staff responded to the latest emergency as they always do – with professionalism and devotion.”

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