BDSAR in the News: Black Diamond K-9 handler receives statewide award

Monday, August 20th, 2018–handler-receives-statewide-award/article_4535a5f0-500f-11e8-a875-eb1cf85bf1a1.html

Lisa Hannon Award

Congratulations to Nina Cipriani!

The Lisa Hannon Award is the highest award anyone in the Virginia SAR system can receive.

This award is presented to one individual each year who represents the “spirit” of Lisa Hannon. And, nominees are voted on only by past recipients of the award.

Lisa was a highly motivated and dedicated member of the VA SAR system. A member of the Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group – a team of ASRC.  She worked to build bridges within and outside of the SAR community and was described by those who knew her and worked with her to bring calm and order to even the most tense and chaotic situations.

Nina has dedicated many years to the VA SAR system.  Her tireless efforts with Black Diamond, and her work of building bridges with teams, states and Law Enforcement agencies represents the true spirit that was shown by Lisa.

The award was presented at the annual SAR conference and I will present her with this at our meeting on the 27th.

It is my great pleasure to say Congratulations Nina !!

For those that do not know the history, below is a write up on Lisa.

Lisa Hannon – 021, an ASRC IC who died in the line of duty on May 3 1994

Lisa attended the University of Virginia where she majored in international relations and English literature. While in college, she joined the Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group, a member group of the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference (ASRC), where she served as the equipment officer, incident staff training officer, ASRC Board of Directors representative and preventative search officer, which included her active involvement in coordinating the Hug-A-Tree program that teaches children how to survive and be found if lost in the woods. Operationally, Lisa rose through the field and management ranks to become an ASRC and VA state incident commander, the highest certification possible in the ASRC and VA state search and rescue program. She was one of two female IC’s in the ASRC at the time. She was a certified VA emergency medical technician and member of the Scottsville, Virginia, Rescue Squad, serving on a regular weekday night crew. Lisa graduated UVA in December 1993 and began working part-time while looking for a job in the area of international aid and development. During the Spring of 1994, she trained and was certified in April as an Outward Bound instructor in order to fine tune her group leadership and mentoring skills and help others through outdoor experiential education.

On Monday May 2, 1994, the West Virginia State Police called the Virginia Department of Emergency Services to request assistance with a 3-day old massive search for a five-year-old boy, Victor Shoemaker, lost in the mountains of Hampshire Country near the town of Kirby. Lisa responded as the initial IC for Virginia and the state liaison for all VA SAR resources. She was to be the highest SAR trained and most experienced SAR person on-site. However, she would have to figure out the political and command structure of the mission and determine in what role she or others from VA could help. That night, Lisa together with the other search managers successfully established an incident command system organization under a single IC, Lisa, for mission coordination. As someone later recalled, when she arrived on scene and began to organize the effort, a calm began to settle on the search base. When her relieving IC’s arrived, John Punches-ASRC-SWVMRG, and Dave Carter ASRC-TSAR, they found a well-organized search operation.

Lisa left the mission base on a bright clear morning about 8am to make it back to the DC area in time for her afternoon job, since a fellow co-worker had taken her original morning shift. While driving along US Route 50 about 20 minutes after leaving base, she is believed to have fallen asleep, her truck striking a tree at full speed, killing her instantly. Lisa was 24 years old. She died in the line of duty, the first such death in the Virginia Search and Rescue program.

Category : News Letters

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