DJ Atkinson, Randy Bloomfield, Jeffrey Bratcher, Dereck Orr, Eldon Haakinson (retired), Eric Nelson, Val Pietrasiewicz, Andrew Thiessen, Ken Tilley, and Bruce Ward received a group Gold Medal for their efforts to enhance public safety communications. The team received the award for assisting government-wide planning, assessment, and standardization of technologies to achieve interoperable communications among emergency responders.
The team addressed technological advancements to improve radio coverage depended upon by police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, dispatchers, and other first responders during local and national emergencies. This accomplishment supports the Commerce Department's goal of improving public safety communications to better serve Americans and protect American security.
The Gold Medal award specifically highlights the team's leadership in two areas: developing a national strategy for improvement of public safety communications, and assisting the development of technical standards to enable rapid deployment of a new generation of digital land mobile radio systems. Federal, state, and local public safety agencies are widely implementing these systems today.