By Jon King /

A local volunteer and his team have been honored for their efforts to assist first responders in Livingston County.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Livingston County Emergency Manager Therese Cremonte presented Bruce Pollock and the Community Emergency Response Team program, or CERT, with the Volunteer of the Year award from the Michigan Emergency Management Association (MEMA). According to the MEMA website, the award showcases “a person who has demonstrated exemplary performance and achievement through dedication and initiatives that have positively impacted their community’s emergency management efforts and/or capabilities through volunteer service.”

Cremonte, who is also the outgoing MEMA President, said that the CERT Team is always available for the various specialty events in Livingston County such as the Fantasy of Lights and Christmas in the Ville, helping to provide the backup support that she called a “force multiplier” for first responders. Cremonte added that the Livingston CERT is one of the most active in the state with between 35 and 40 members and is always ready to lend a hand on short notice. Cremonte said that was especially true earlier this year when the COVID vaccines first became available to the general public.

“People were beating down the door and we had to find a way to form it and make it okay for them to come in and be safe,” said Cremonte. “These guys, in the middle of the winter, show up to help bring order to that chaos so that people can get safely in, get their vaccinations, and then get safely out. The Health Department was scrambling, everyone was scrambling (and) these guys showed up, unpaid, in the worst weather ever and volunteered their time and their effort to get people in and safely vaccinated and, again, became a force multiplier for when we needed them the very most.”

In accepting the award, Pollock was joined by his wife Jan, a CERT supporter, and Don Schmid, a CERT member. Pollock said he appreciated the award, which he couldn’t have achieved without all of the volunteers who make up the local team. He then added, “If you guys didn’t have confidence in us, you wouldn’t call us.”

Top photo - from left to right - Don Schmid, Therese Cremonte, Bruce Pollock & Jan Pollock.

Bottom photo - MEMA Volunteer of the Year award