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Port Houston’s Emergency Manager Receives Lou Harrell Emergency Manager of the Year Award

Port Houston’s Emergency Manager Colin Rizzo received the Lou Harrell Emergency Manager of the Year Award at the Emergency Management Association of Texas (EMAT) Symposium in San Marcos, Texas, March 7. The award recognizes and honors a member whose comprehensive emergency management program epitomizes the best in Texas emergency management practices.

The criteria for the award includes developing and implementing a highly effective program in the absence of other sophisticated programs and agency support, applying innovative ideas or creative techniques to enhance the local emergency management program and managing an extraordinary response effort to a major disaster.

Rizzo is the first Emergency Manager at the port. He has successfully championed communication and information sharing through the use of Public Safety Broadband (FirstNet), extensive mass communication systems and the purchase and implementation of a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) that connects the port to more than 20 regional agencies.

“Port Houston is extremely proud of Colin Rizzo and the whole emergency management department. He continues to innovate and respond at levels fully deserving of this significant state-wide recognition,” said Port Houston Chief HSSE Officer Marcus Woodring.

Along with all of these communication projects, Rizzo acquired grant funding to cover 75 percent of the costs for a nearly $1 million regional asset, the port’s new Mobile Command Center and he received his Certified Emergency Manager designation. He has responded to countless emergencies, including the high profile Aframax River Fire on the Houston Ship Channel in September of 2016 and the Apache Helicopter Crash near the port’s Bayport Auto Terminal in December of 2016.