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Unrecognized hero up for regional award

Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 8:15 am



Ronnie Jett of Northumberland County is one of 11 regional winners who will be considered for Virginia’s annual Governor’s Award for excellence in emergency services.

Only winners of their regions’ awards are considered for the statewide honor and Jett recently won the award for the Peninsulas EMS Council. The Peninsulas council encompasses 16 cities and counties on Virginia’s Tidewater, Middle and Northern Neck peninsulas.

Larry Wagner, president of Northumberland County’s Mid-County Rescue Squad nominated Jett who is a member of the Northumberland Volunteer Rescue Squad that covers the lower part of the county.

Wagner said that he nominated Jett because, “Ronnie has been a huge player in EMS and what’s gone unrecognized has been the degree to which he has been instrumental in making the system work.”

In his nomination of Jett, Wagner pointed out that Jett joined the rescue squad and Fairfields Fire Department 28 years ago, is qualified as an emergency medical technician and served as captain of the squad for 20 years. He still serves on the boards of directors of both the squad and the fire department.

Wagner stressed Jett’s contributions in modernizing the Northumberland squad to meet the demands of changing demographics and, since his election to the county board of supervisors, his service as Northumberland County’s Director of Emergency Services. Wagner noted Jett’s work to obtain improved emergency radio communications and use of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission to help draft a county wide emergency response plan that was adopted in a form that allows adjacent counties to coordinate their emergency services.

Wagner pointed out that “while his efforts are known to many, there has not been any effort to assure that he receive awards or public recognition for his efforts and accomplishments.  In no small measure that reflects his preference to work quietly, behind the scenes, to accomplish the goal of comprehensively improving emergency services in the region.” In other words, as Wagner said last week, “Ronnie tends to fly beneath the radar.”

Wagner said that even though he and Jett are in different squads when he realized the scope of Jett’s contributions to emergency services in the county and adjoining counties, “his going unrecognized just didn’t seem right.”

The winner of the Governor’s Award will be announced this fall.