Employee Spotlight: Gina Dial, making a difference through volunteerism with Naperville Emergency Management Agency
Gina Dial, senior internal auditor and security coordinator at Delta Dental of Illinois, noted that people often say if someone is calling 911, they are probably having a really bad day, if not one of the worst days of their life.
Dial, a member of both the Field and Search and Rescue (SAR) units for the Naperville Emergency Management Agency, joined the Field Unit in 2018 because she wanted to do something tangible, even if small, to help the first responders and someone having that level of day. The Field Unit provides support – incident scene lighting, equipment support and traffic control – to Naperville’s police and fire departments during traffic accidents, fires, natural disasters, special events and other emergency situations.
After initially volunteering with the Field Unit, she joined the SAR Unit in 2021 after fellow volunteers on the Field Unit and SAR Unit also convinced her to do both. The SAR Unit provides trained ground search and rescue resources to locate missing individuals in both Naperville and other areas in Illinois. Since Naperville’s SAR Unit is part of a statewide Illinois Search and Rescue Council, Dial and her fellow SAR volunteers often travel throughout the state to assist other agencies with searches for missing persons. Both units are fully volunteer, and members are always “on call” and respond to requests as they are available.
The support the Field Unit provides frees up first responders and their equipment to continue doing the important work they are trained to do and can also be an extra pair of hands in situations where many resources are needed quickly, like in June 2021, when a tornado ripped through DuPage County. And as part of the SAR Unit, Dial has gone to various Illinois counties and done both rescue and recovery searches, with many of the missing people being older adults, children or individuals having mental health challenges. Dial said aiding those in need of help and trying to provide closure for someone’s loved ones in recovery searches is rewarding.
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