After retiring just over a month ago from Sweetwater County Emergency Management (SCEM), Judy Roderick enters the next chapter of her life where she will enjoy relaxing, taking advantage of projects she hasn’t had time for and expanding on her volunteer work in the community.
Roderick was first hired on with SCEM 18 years ago where she started out as a secretary. Over the years her job title evolved a handful of times until she filled the Coordinator position seven years ago.
In this position she served as the chair of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), which report to the State Emergency Planning Committee (SERC). Roderick was in charge of overseeing the local tier II reports as well as Emergency Planning for the County.
Soon after she was hired, she took over the Community Emergency Response Team training program. The training is approximately 20 hours of free preparedness training presented to the public by a group of first responders and other subject experts. Individuals first learn what is likely to happen in the area, how to be better prepared for it, survive it, and recover from the event. The students learn first how to care for themselves, their family, neighbors and others in the community.
“When I think back to the hundreds of people that have gone through this program while I was overseeing it, I’m so glad to know that I had a part to play in their being better prepared,” Roderick said.
Working with many partners and subject experts, Roderick compiled the Sweetwater County Animal Response Team (SCART) Annex and the SCART Team to care for animals in a disaster was formed.
“This was brought on by the PETS Act following Hurricane Katrina when it became obvious to anyone involved, or even watching accounts on the news, people were not willing to leave their pets behind in a disaster, and those pets that did get left behind contributed to more problems,” Roderick said.
Another group that Roderick became involved with shortly after being hired was Sweetwater Assist. This group consists of trained peers and mental health professionals who provided critical stress debriefings for first responders after critical events.
“My role when deploying with the team was as administrator, facilitating the debriefing. I was very proud to be part of this group and be able to help individuals who were experiencing normal reactions to abnormal situations work through this situation with others who were also there. We helped them find healthy ways to deal with the stress,” Roderick said.
One other proud highlight from her career is her involvement in founding Wyoming All Hazards Association (WAHA), which is a professional organization to enhance and encourage emergency planning and preparedness at all levels.
Certainly there have been more than a few memories that will last a lifetime.
Among those memories include the two shelters that were opened during her career and the volunteers involved in managing them.
Roderick said she’s also proud of the three drowning victims that were recovered and the closure that was provided to the families of the three victims.
Planning for the National High School Finals Rodeo, hosting the Mobile Food Pantries during COVID-19 and assisting in the Rock Springs flash flood in 2021 also stand out as significant memories and experiences of hard work, sacrifice and selfless service from the community.
“The greatest memories that I will never forget are the memories of all of the great people I have met and worked with over the years from my co-workers, volunteers, other County Coordinators, staff of Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, industry representatives, and first responders,” Roderick said.