The former deputy director of Tooele County Emergency Management has been inducted into the Utah Emergency Management Association Hall of Fame.
Marilyn Candelaria of Grantsville was the guest of honor during UEMA’s annual conference on Jan. 11 in West Jordan where the induction occurred.
At the conference, Candelaria was recognized for her career in emergency management and for her years of public service to the residents of Tooele County and the State of Utah.
Wade Mathews, UEMA board member and Be Ready Utah program manager, held the induction ceremony. Mathews is a former employee of Candelaria at Tooele County Emergency Management.
Candelaria was the only Hall of Fame inductee in 2018. She joins only 12 other emergency managers who have been inducted since the Hall of Fame’s inception in 2009. Among those is Kari Sagers, former Tooele County emergency manager.
The Hall of Fame citation for Candelaria states that she started her 22-year career in emergency management in 1991 as the secretary at Tooele County Emergency Management. Later, she became the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) manager, and then in 1996, became deputy director to Kari Sagers. Candelaria served in that role until 2013 when she retired from Tooele County.
During her tenure, Candelaria’s biggest responsibility was overseeing CSEPP finances and exercises. She was instrumental in planning and conducting all multi-jurisdiction exercises for Tooele County. She was on the National CSEPP Exercise Integrated Process Team and helped to plan several CSEPP conferences. At some of those conferences, she presented her concepts of organizing and conducting full-scale exercises. Candelaria also evaluated many Homeland Security, CSEPP, and state exercises. She also contributed to the Tooele County Roadmap to Closure for CSEPP.
“My biggest accomplishment was the exercise program and the level we took it to, including the realism and all the agencies we got involved with our exercises,” Candelaria said. “It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. There was so much benefit from doing those. We had a great, year-long plan that made it easier to accomplish. It was like writing and directing a play.”
Candelaria was also involved with school emergency preparedness. She started CERT training in the Tooele County School District (TCSD) and conducted TCSD annual tabletop exercises. Candelaria also shared plan-writing duties with Sagers, and was heavily involved in the building of the first emergency operations center in the basement of the Tooele County building and later the new EOC building in 2009.
She was the NIMS Coordinator for Tooele County, and was on the State Citizen Corps Council, the Utah Regional Coordinating Council, and the Public Safety Committee for planning the 2002 Winter Olympics. She was a member of UEMA for many years.
Candelaria completed dozens of FEMA, HSEEP, NIMS, ICS and other courses, totaling thousands of hours of training. Among the awards she received are the UEMA Member of the Year in 2008, and the CSEPP US Army Award for Superior Service.