Meteorological Services Branch Chief Tom Bradshaw (right) confers with ROC Duty Officer Joe Jurecka (Photo: Ron Trumbla)
(Aug. 12, 2011) - The U.S. Department of Commerce has selected Tom Bradshaw, chief of the National Weather Service Southern Region Meteorological Services Branch, as a recipient of its prestigious Silver Medal. Bradshaw is being recognized for his pioneering work in the evolution of the first Regional Operations Center (ROC) designed to provide expert disaster support to federal and state agencies.
Bradshaw's leadership in conceiving and implementing new ROC protocols has ensured expert and timely delivery of critical information to state and federal decision-makers prior to, during and after major weather and non-weather related events. Some of the more notable events included Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, the Haitian earthquake, Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster; and more recently the drought, wildfires, tornado outbreaks and historic Mississippi River flooding.
During these and numerous other events, he instituted an efficient operational concept utilizing a disaster-specific "operational playbook" and a personnel training and mentoring program to ensure the highest level of proficiency in providing support.
"Tom Bradshaw's leadership and commitment to the Regional Operations Center has consistently contributed to life-saving and fiscally-responsive actions by our federal, state and local decision-makers and partners," said Bill Proenza, regional director of the National Weather Service Southern Region.
While the Regional Operations Center actually dates back to the year 2000, Bradshaw took control of the operation in 2005. In addition to enhancing the operational procedures and training for rotating ROC duty officers, he established solid working relationships with key federal and state decision makers and made maximum use of state-of-the-art technology, multi-media and Web-based tools in the delivery of services.
Widely recognized and supported by state and federal disaster response agencies, the operational standards he instituted now serve as a model employed by National Weather Service Headquarters and other Regional Headquarters in establishing equivalent operational concepts.
A 20-year veteran of the National Weather Service, Bradshaw began his career as a meteorologist intern at the forecast office in Albuquerque in 1992, followed by a 10-year stint as a journeyman and lead forecaster at the Birmingham, Ala. office. He then served as the science and operations officer in Huntsville, Ala. prior to assuming his current position at Southern Region Headquarters in 2004.
Tom holds a bachelor's degree in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in Meteorology from Florida State University.