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  • NEWSROOM: 20-YEAR VETERAN OF TEXAS A&M FOREST SERVICE RECEIVES REGENTS FELLOW AWARD FOR MANAGEMENT OF WILDLAND FIRE RESPONSE SYSTEMS

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas —Cynthia Foster, head of the Wildfire Planning and Preparedness Department at Texas A&M Forest Service received the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Fellow Service Award on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at a presentation ceremony in College Station.

    The first female Department Head in Texas A&M Forest Service’s 100-year history, Foster has been progressively responsible for the Texas Interagency Coordination Center, the agency’s Emergency Operations Center, implementation of a statewide dispatch system, wildfire aviation management and managing the agency’s mobilization of emergency responders to Texas disasters.

    Under Foster’s direction, TICC has mobilized more than 60,000 emergency responders, 3,500 dozers, engines and aircraft to more than 100 notable Texas incidents including Hurricanes Harvey, Rita and Ike, the Eagle Pass tornado, the explosion in West, the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery and to thousands of wildfires.

     “For more than a decade, Cynthia Foster has been in the Southern Area. We have seen her evolve into a knowledgeable, capable and efficient dispatcher and aviation management officer, with safety of the resources as her first priority,” said Calvin Miller, Center Manager of the Southern Area Coordination Center. “With her skill set, she is able to advance Texas Forest Service into a higher level of proficiency that other states are striving toward. She brings leadership, decision making, organizational and situational awareness skills that make her stand out among others.”

    A 20-year employee of the Texas A&M Forest Service, Foster originally hails from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources where, as a wildland firefighter, she led an all-female engine crew, was a hand crew leader and helitack crew supervisor. She was the lead dispatcher for the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon and later the aviation dispatcher at the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center.

    “Cynthia is what I call a force multiplier; someone you want by your side when managing a disaster,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief Mark Stanford. “Her actions make a difference and the state is fortunate to have her in its service.”

    Congratulations to Foster and to all the 2018 award recipients. Read the original Regents Awards news release at http://bit.ly/2nMtGn7


    foster award full

    Pictured from left to right Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M Forest Service Department Head Cynthia Foster, The Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System Chairman Charles W. Schwartz, and Vice Chairman Elaine Mendoza. 


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