ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the Office of Emergency Management today presented resident and scientist Dan Wilt with the Emergency Management Volunteer of the Year award for his dedication to county safety and advancing emergency response capabilities. He is a member of the Columbia Amateur Radio Association (CARA) and leads the Howard County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). Photos of the recognition can be found here.
Dan has a special and often unrecognized set of technical skills as an amateur radio operator and chooses to support his community. Many people might not know about the critical role these radios could play in an emergency, but they would be invaluable to our communication and our ability to respond to our neighbor’s needs if phones, power or other communication systems were unavailable. Thank you, Dan, for always stepping up to serve Howard County, and congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.
The award annually recognizes an individual who volunteers time to assist the county in preparing for, responding to, and mitigating or recovering from emergency incidents or disasters in Howard County.
A Howard County resident for nearly 20 years, Dan is a researcher and expert in fiber-optic communication employed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, where he also teaches and lectures on topics in his field. He served more than 150 volunteer hours in 2022 at specific RACES activities and events. In addition, he spent many more hours developing training guides and plans for his fellow operators to ensure first responders and others could communicate during the worst of emergencies.
For CARA, Dan’s efforts to coordinate training and exercises further builds the skills, competence and consistency of a range of qualified operators to be prepared for any incident well into the future. He also volunteers to assist with other COAD assignments including staffing pandemic vaccination sites.
Dan is a valuable member of RACES for his technical skills but also because he is a leader that inspires others to serve with compassion and purpose. In addition to his passion for amateur radio, he brings a willingness to help others learn and a desire to serve whenever and however possible. He brings energy and purpose to any task and inspires an entire community of volunteers. We could not be so prepared without people like him. We are very proud to name Dan OEM’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year!
“Dan has committed substantial hours to emergency communications and public service events for Howard County and beyond,” said Nancy McAllister, Assistant RACES Officer and CARA member. “He is always willing to mentor others and help them further develop their skills in these areas. Dan is sharp and knows the latest communications technologies and couples that with a kind, gentle and thoughtful spirit. This extraordinary combination makes him an outstanding role model for others and perfect pick for Howard County OEM's Volunteer of the Year 2022.”