Press Release

Howard County Recognizes Johns Hopkins APL’s Wilt as Volunteer of the Year

Tue, 04/04/2023 - 09:36

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) device physicist Dan Wilt was named the Howard County Emergency Management Volunteer of the Year for his dedication to county safety and advancing emergency response capabilities.

County Executive Calvin Ball and the Howard County Office of Emergency Management presented Wilt with the award at a ceremony on March 28. The annual award recognizes an individual who volunteers time to assist in preparing for, responding to, and mitigating or recovering from emergency incidents or disasters in Howard County.

“Dan has a special and often unrecognized set of technical skills as an amateur radio operator and chooses to support his community,” said Ball. “Many people might not know about the critical role these radios could play in an emergency, but they would be invaluable to our communication and our ability to respond to our neighbor’s needs if phones, power or other communication systems were unavailable. Thank you, Dan, for always stepping up to serve Howard County, and congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.”

A Howard County resident for nearly 20 years, Wilt is a board member of the Columbia Amateur Radio Association (CARA) and leads the Howard County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). In 2022, Wilt served more than 150 volunteer hours at RACES activities and events. In addition, he spent many more hours developing training guides and plans for his fellow operators to ensure first responders and others could communicate during the worst of emergencies.

Wilt has supported the county during hurricanes and snowstorms and at public service events. He recalled one particular event where he had to jump into action. He was stationed along the course of a lengthy bike ride when a cyclist crashed after encountering loose gravel at high speed, severely injuring himself. Wilt quickly called for first aid assistance and helped stabilize the rider until paramedics arrived.