FERGUS FALLS -- County Emergency Management Director Patrick Waletzko was recognized by Otter Tail County commissioners Sept. 24 for receiving an award from the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers.

The award was for “emergency management best practice in response, 2019.”

Otter Tail County, under the direction of Waletzko the past six years, has conducted an annual county emergency training and exercise day. This year’s emergency summit was held at the county operations center in the town of Ottertail.

The county Emergency Management Department, headed by Waletzko, has a mission statement “to protect Otter Tail County communities and those in rural areas before, during and after emergencies or disasters.”

Emergency management employees at the county level develop programs and best practices in coordination with communities, businesses and county residents that will ensure a countywide state of disaster prevention and readiness.