Graham receives Distinguished Service medal

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Bob Graham is presented with the Idaho Distinguished Service medal on April 12, the highest civilian award the Bureau of Homeland Security Military Division assigns, by Major General William B. (Brad) Richy, and Idaho State Office of Emergency Management Field Officer Jay Baker. Courtesy photo

Boundary County Emergency Manager Incident Commander Bob Graham has put his life in jeopardy in order to save the lives of others since 1974. With 43 years of heroic service, Graham’s career was celebrated on April 12 at the Boundary County Extension Office. Friends, colleagues, and fellow emergency responders gathered to wish him well on his second retirement. Graham retired as a U.S. Forest Service District Ranger.

Bob Graham’s service to Boundary County and to the citizens who live here was celebrated by those who had worked with him over the years.

Graham received several awards during the ceremony, including the State of Idaho Distinguished Service medal which is the highest civilian award the Bureau of Homeland Security Military Division assigns, Major General William B. (Brad) Richy, the Deputy Chief of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, formerly known as the Bureau of Homeland Security Military Division. Richy is a distinguished military and civilian pilot. Richy performed the presentation ceremony with the assistance of Idaho State Office of Emergency Management Field Officer Jay Baker.

The distinguished award states of Graham’s service:

“Mr. Robert Graham distinguished himself for exceptional meritorious service in the performance of outstanding service to the State of Idaho, as the Incident Commander for Boundary County from 1985 to April 2017. In this highly critical assignment, the outstanding leadership

Professionalism, and efforts resulted in significant contributions to the effectiveness and success of all the hazard preparation and response of boundary County. Bob dedicated himself at all times to improving processes, program, and response capabilities, as a Boundary County Commissioner, State Water Resources Board member, and the county Incident Commander. His leadership principles and insightful knowledge of emergency management has created a more resilient community. The outstanding leadership, compassion, and selfless dedication displayed by Robert L. Graham reflect great credit upon himself, Boundary County, the office of Emergency Management, the State of Idaho Military division, and the citizens of the State of Idaho.”

The award is signed by the Adjutant Commander IDNC Major General Gary Sayler and Commander in Chief IDNG Governor C.L. Butch Otter.

Graham has been on the front lines of almost every Boundary County Emergency Services disaster situation in the county, such as floods, snow, fires, and slides. He’s also handled almost every hazardous issue in the county, but most exciting of those involved dealing with dynamite. Graham has been actively involved in community youth events, is a natural resource advisor to the Boundary County Commissioners, was on the Department of Natural Resources Board, and has a general love of the community to help make it better.

Graham also received awards from Boundary County and other agencies that have worked with him over the years.

Stories were shared regarding some of Graham’s most notable opportunities within the county by his friends and associates through the years. It was an opportunity to reflect on Graham’s successful and fulfilling career.

Cake and coffee were served as everyone spoke with Graham and wished him the best.

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