An international organization is recognizing a Regent graduate for his selfless devotion and outstanding contributions to emergency management. Jim Redick ’04 (College of Arts & Sciences) traveled to Savannah, Georgia to receive the Clayton R. Christopher Memorial Award. He joined thousands of others on October 18, 2016 for the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) for its 64th annual conference.
“Any recognition that you get in your professional life is because people have helped you along the way,” said Redick. “While I’m the emergency manager in Norfolk, I work with so many fantastic people who are equally committed and determined to improve preparedness in the community. It’s an honor for sure, but it’s also humbling knowing I wouldn’t receive recognition if it weren’t for so many folks with whom I work.”
Redick became interested in emergency services management while working in the Information Technology department at Regent University. He already had an associate degree and was able to earn a bachelor’s degree through Regent’s degree completion program. He majored in organizational leadership and management and found that it opened all sorts of doors.
Redick eventually earned a master’s degree at Old Dominion University, and worked with the City of Hampton in Emergency Management. Moving to Norfolk in 2011, he helped build Team Norfolk, a collaboration of public, private, not-for-profit, higher education, and military organizations to keep his community ready for emergencies.
“It’s about instilling a culture of preparedness throughout the community. Throughout the years, there has been more and more reliance on government. I try to change that focus to look within, to see, appreciate, take stock in the talents, expertise and resources that we have as a community at the individual level, businesses, higher education, and places of worship.”
One example of this collaboration is its work with churches. Redick has sought to build a relationship with leaders from places of worship to ensure not only that congregations are prepared for emergencies and can help those after a disaster, but that they have access to resources to help themselves during times of trouble. When creating plans, Team Norfolk considers all of its members’ needs and requirements, and plans are updated regularly after current events bring new emergency scenarios into consideration.
“Through the framework we’ve been able to build, and communications we’ve been able to establish, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a hurricane, winter storm, terrorist attack or a special event, we’re able to be on the same sheet of music and be sure our community is as prepared as possible and able to respond and recover as quickly as possible.”
Redick joined about 2,000 others at the awards ceremony and conference in Savannah. He was impressed how quickly emergency workers were able to get the city back up and running in time for the conference after Hurricane Matthew. The event, he says, was a time of bonding where professionals in his field could share the same struggles, hear best practices, and network.