For several years Mike Johnson played a leading role in guiding Cumberland County through a series of emergencies, including two tropical systems that caused extensive damage throughout the region as well as a series of winter storms that brought traffic to a standstill.
Johnson, who retired as the coordinator of Cumberland Regional Emergency Management in 2022, was recently honoured in Ottawa with an Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award for his outstanding contribution to emergency management.
The former coordinator of the Cumberland Regional EMO was recently honoured in Ottawa with an Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award for his outstanding contribution to emergency management. Johnson retired last year following a 40-year career in public service. Contributed
“I appreciate it, but there are a lot of people who were part and parcel to what I did in EMO who really deserve the credit too, Jim Hannon, Dominic Fewer, Steve Ferguson and the support that was provided by Rennie Bugley and Greg Herrett,” Johnson said. “A lot of what was done was because of the support from the people who were there and the councils and staff that supported what we were doing. I was giving the marching order to go do it and raising the profile of emergency management was what I wanted to achieve.”
Johnson, who enjoyed more than 40 years of public service with the Moncton City Police and the RCMP, said it was Hannon who “poured the concrete” that started Cumberland REMO and set up the foundation that has been built upon since then.
The Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award is a prestigious recognition for exceptional service and achievement.
This award, a partnership between provincial, territorial and federal governments, recognizes recipients who have achieved excellence in their respective fields.
Across Canada, there are many deserving individuals and groups working on emergency management, such as community-based volunteers, people working in all levels of government in emergency management organizations, and Indigenous communities.
The citation credited Johnson for his “leadership, expertise and contribution” to the improvement of emergency management.
“Being the regional emergency management coordinator for eight years, Mr. Johnson prioritized strengthening the emergency response within his community, and by extension the province, by training and hosting exercises to various emergency responders, so they can have the ability to perform well under these circumstances,” the citation reads.
His devotion to amateur radio in emergency management encouraged Exercise Handshake participants to practice their communication skills with multiple devices throughout the province and he educated and mentored other emergency management professionals in his career to ensure the safety of Cumberland County residents during emergencies.
Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott said he’s extremely proud of Johnson.
“He accomplished a great deal as our EMO coordinator and provided yeoman service across Cumberland County,” the mayor said. “It’s an award that’s so well deserved. He played a prominent role in helping county residents stay safe and coordinating the county’s response during two significant tropical storms in last four years as well as other events including major winter storms that we’ve faced.”
Mike Johnson working in the aftermath of tropical storm Fiona in September 2022. Darrell Cole - Municipality of Cumberland photo
Municipality of Cumberland chief administrative officer Greg Herrett congratulated Johnson on the achievement.
“It was a pleasure to work with Mike through the years in my role as CAO, first in Amherst and more recently with the Municipality of Cumberland,” Herrett said. “Mike’s professionalism, contacts and credibility throughout the province certainly made the job of managing the town or the municipality through our various emergency events much easier. He is most deserving of this award.”