Cal Poly Pomona’s emergency services coordinator has been recognized for her acclaimed work in the emergency management field.
Debbi McFall, who has been a member of the Cal Poly Pomona community for the past 21 years, was recently honored at the California Emergency Services Association Annual Training and Conference as a Gold Award recipient. As emergency services coordinator, she is tasked with evaluating the campus for possible disasters and developing procedures on how to best handle them.
“I really love this campus and I love all the people with whom I work,” McFall says. “For me, it’s about making the world we inhabit a better, safer place, starting here at Cal Poly Pomona.”
The Gold Award is the second highest award in the state for the California Emergency Services Organization. The award is presented to individuals or to organizations that have demonstrated exceptional efforts in the field of emergency management.
“I was stunned,” McFall says. “I have been a member of the organization since the beginning of my career. I’ve seen lots of people receive this award and I just never pictured myself in their company.”
McFall was recognized for putting together a group of higher education emergency managers to network with each other. This group began in Southern California and now has members across the country and on other continents. McFall explains that this group established a “virtual library” that was created for practitioners in the field to share their experiences and work product.
The group meets once a quarter to discuss different emergency services projects, successes and areas where they can improve and stay current in the industry.
“One of the most important skills for an emergency manager is not to know everything, but to know how to reach out and use existing programs and modify them to fit your own environment, networking with experts in our field,” McFall says. “These are all people that will take our phone calls when we are in the worst possible situation and help us.”