Kristen O’Hare ’02
Today’s SJA Shining Star is Kristen O’Hare ’02. She is an Emergency Management Officer for the Fort Worth Fire Department in Fort Worth, Texas.
Brynn Reynolds Evans ’98 texted with Kristen through the alumni office wellness checks and learned about her work. It became clear very quickly that she should be recognized as a SJA Shining Star. When Kristen heard about the upcoming recognition, she shared that she is not usually one for the spotlight, but was honored to be able to share her pride for what her city has been able to do during the pandemic with her SJA family.
Kristen’s words state it best:
I’ve worked in disaster response for over 4 years. But my role as an Emergency Manager with the Fort Worth Fire Department has opened my eyes to a type of disaster that we knew was possible but hoped we’d never face.
As the 13th largest city in the country, Fort Worth planned, trained and prepared for a pandemic but COVID-19 was the definition of “learning as you go.” As first responders there is no question that the safety of residents is our number one priority but keeping all first responders and healthcare workers healthy was part of that priority as well.
As more of our first responders tested positive for the virus it became imperative to work around the clock to stop the spread not only within the City but amongst ourselves. I’m incredibly proud of the collaboration and teamwork that occurred (and is still occurring as we enter over 100 days of Operations) to do whatever it took to keep the people of Fort Worth safe, healthy and informed.
I worked alongside men and women who sacrificed time with their family and loved ones for weeks and put themselves in harm’s way every day so they could help strangers. Fires continued to burn and emergencies continued to need our attention as disasters don’t stop for a pandemic… and neither do we.
Thank you to Kristen O’Hare for her dedication to this vital role and for all her hard work in serving the Fort Worth community. You are an inspiration!