Contact: Vernon Preston
NOAA News Releases 2003
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NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, today presented Mark Trail NOAA Weather Radio Awards to two Idaho Managers for their support of the expansion of a NOAA Weather & All Hazards Radio in southeast Idaho. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Ken Fagnant of the Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services is an Area Field Officer for the Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services in Pocatello. Dennis Godfrey of Caribou County Public Safety is the Coordinator for the Caribou County Public Safety Office in Soda Springs. Nineteen Mark Trail Awards were presented nationwide in 2003 with Fagnant and Godfrey representing Idaho. They received their awards during ceremonies held in Washington, D.C.

“NOAA is proud to honor Ken Fagnant and Dennis Godfrey,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D. , under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Their actions have enhanced the safety of citizens in Idaho.”

According to Pocatello Forecast Office Meteorologist-in-Charge James Meyer, Fagnant and Godfrey were key in the installation of a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter that provides 24-hour weather coverage for people in the rugged mountain region of southeast Idaho known as the Caribou Highlands. The additional transmitter is part of a national all-hazards warning system. It’s located in Pocatello. There are fourteen weather radio transmitters across Idaho.

The actions of the two award recipients were part of a much larger southeastern Idaho effort to develop a plan to obtain a new transmitter.

Fagnant and Godfrey started a collaborative plan nearly five years ago to work with local businesses as well as county and state governments. They were able to obtain matching funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service to place the NOAA Weather Radio Transmitter on Sedgwick Peak that serves Caribou, southern Bannock, Bear Lake, Franklin and Oneida Counties, with a population of over 48,000 residents. These new radio transmitters provide a 14 percent increase in the number of Idaho citizens, who can receive warnings and Emergency Alert System notifications.

Ken Fagnant, Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services field officer said, “The National Weather Service (NWS) radio system provides a crucial link in the all-hazards public warning network. These programs are another great example of the federal, state and local partnerships working to protect lives and property.”

NWS Western Region Director Vickie Nadolski, said, “Through the leadership of Ken Fagnant and Dennis Godfrey this particular weather radio program now serves a remote mountainous region, which has very little other radio or television coverage and now the citizens can receive updated weather information and the associated information from the Emergency Alert System.”

This collaborative project means expanded and significantly improved NOAA Weather Radio coverage and placement of weather radio receivers in Idaho plus substantial monetary savings to the NOAA National Weather Service.

The NOAA Mark Trail awards program honors efforts that use or provide NOAA Weather Radio receivers and transmitters to the National Weather Service that help save lives and protect property. The awards are named for the nationally syndicated comic strip character, that is the program’s campaign symbol.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) of radio stations broadcast continuous weather information from local National Weather Service offices. NWR broadcasts weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. NWR includes some 850 transmitters, covering all 50 states, coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Pacific Territories.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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