Grayson County’s Emergency Management Director Sarah Somers seemed to choke back tears Tuesday as she announced the 2013 Volunteer of the Year in front of county commissioners.

Grayson County’s Emergency Management Director Sarah Somers seemed to choke back tears Tuesday as she announced the 2013 Volunteer of the Year in front of county commissioners.


"It should come as no surprise," Somers said before announcing Jennifer Davis with Serv Pro of Sherman and Denison had won the award that was officially renamed the OEM Wilmer Kinsey Volunteer of the Year Award a few years back.


"I feel like you have been around forever," Somers said to Davis as the two addressed commissioners. Somers then said Davis was part of the third group of locals to undergo the volunteer training. "And I don’t know what I would do without you."


Davis, who was named earlier this year as the county’s assistant volunteer coordinator, said she appreciates the award.


"Working with the Office of Emergency Management is such a pleasure to me and I know that we make such a big difference in the lives of the cert members by educating them and in the community and so that award is really an honor," Davis said.


She said she was surprised by the award and would like to encourage other members of the community to get involved in the CERT program.


CERT is a training program that "prepares you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property." Trained CERT members respond to disasters, participate in drills and exercises and take additional training.


In addition to honoring Davis, Somers also helped the commissioners recognize 27 graduates of the class of the 2013 CERT program. Many of them filled the Commissioner’s Court room and were on hand to watch Davis, who served as one of their trainers, accept her award.


"The truth is volunteers and CERT training have resulted in thousands of hours of service to Grayson County since 2008 when we started this program. These volunteers together with the efforts of the Grayson County Amateur Radio Club and the Skywarn trained weather spotters, who provide hundreds of hours of service annually, provide the equivalent of at least one other full-time employee for the ranks of the Grayson County OEM," Somers said.


"You know when a disaster hits in this big old state of Texas there are always people who want to jump up and help," said Commissioner David Whitlock, "but very few of them are trained. You folks have spent a lot of time to be prepared for a disaster."


Whitlock continued, "With it being Thanksgiving, I am gonna have to say that I give thanks to God for Sarah Somers and I give thanks to God for you folks. We thank you very, very much."


Members of the 2013 CERT team include Chad Allen, Linda Arnold, Mike Bates, Chris Baula, Julie Baula, Richard Bell, Evelyn Bell, John Burns, Dora Caywood, Kathleen Connor, Grayson Connor. Charles Connor, Scott Day, Bill Fleischer, Melody Fleischer, Alex Flood, Christi Foust, Freddie Foust, Rebecca Holcomb, Kay Montgomery, Fred Moore, Cindy Powell, Sheila Sammons, Lori Sly, Ben Sly, Jackie Tomlinson and Amelia Tomlinson.