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Commission Presents Awards at Quarterly Meeting
April 18, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 18) – As part of its quarterly business meeting held Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) presented various awards.

Heroes of Water Rescue Award Presented to Steven Ketterer

The Heroes of Water Rescue Award recognizes individuals who make a significant, lasting and continuous impact in the field of water rescue as a result of the guidelines established by the PFBC’s Water Rescue program. The award is based on an extraordinary long-term commitment to the Water Rescue program rather than an individual life-saving act.

Heroes of Water Rescue Award
Water Rescue – (from left) Executive Director John Arway, Board President Steve Ketterer, Board Vice President G. Warren Elliott

PFBC Executive Director John Arway presented the award to Board President Steve Ketterer.

“Through his past efforts to increase awareness about the need for swift-water and flood rescue training, Mr. Ketterer inspired other individuals and organizations to embrace the Water Rescue program,” said Arway. “Additionally, the relationships he has built with organizations over the years have had a long-lasting impact and helped to establish the level of professionalism and credibility with which the program is viewed today.”

2012 Officer of the Year Award Presented to WCO Brook Tolbert

Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) Brook Tolbert received the 2012 Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Officer of the Year award. The PFBC Bureau of Law Enforcement reviews nominations for this award in participation with the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chief's Association. Law enforcement activities, public relations and outreach, environmental protection, professional skills, job performance, and special accomplishments are key aspects in determining the award winner.

Officer of the Year
Officer of Year – (from left) Board President Steve Ketterer, WCO Brook Tolbert, Executive Director John Arway, Law Enforcement Director Corey Britcher

Officer Tolbert currently serves the Western Erie District and has a varied patrol area with many fishing and boating responsibilities. He has an excellent understanding of the laws and regulations pertaining to the protection of Commonwealth resources. Since his assignment to the Western Erie District he has been responsible for multiple steelhead enforcement actions resulting in high profile prosecutions as well as commercial fishing investigations. He was recently recognized for these efforts after the successful prosecution of two commercial license holders who were illegally using gill nets in a closed area. Officer Tolbert also has an outstanding relationship with other agencies which has led to successful apprehension and prosecution of Title 30 violators. These outside agencies include the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, and Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement.

2012 Top Gun Award presented to WCO Sean Sauserman

The Top Gun award recognizes an officer's outstanding effort in detecting and apprehending impaired boaters during the past year. Waterways Conservation Officer Sean Sauserman received the 2012 Top Gun Award for his consistent efforts in boating under the influence education and enforcement.

WCO Sauserman has been assigned to the Washington County district for the last 10 years and during that time has been involved with more than 80 BUI apprehensions.

Top Gun Award
Top Gun – (from left) WCO Sean Sauserman, Law Enforcement Director Corey Britcher

For the 2012 year, he personally apprehended eight individuals for BUI and assisted with several others. He has put in long hours not only in his assigned boating pool, but also in neighboring vacant districts. He has developed an outstanding working relationship with his neighboring officers and assists and mentors new and less experienced ones with detection and apprehension of BUI. WCO Sauserman’s extra commitment to detecting and apprehending the intoxicated boater made him an excellent Top Gun Award recipient.

2012 Outstanding Community Recreation Professional Awarded to Carl Richardson

PFBC Education Section Manager Carl Richardson was presented with the 2012 Outstanding Community Recreation Professional Award, which recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding contributions in the areas of physical education, health, recreation, dance, coaching, or contributions to women’s sports.

The award is presented by the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Outstanding Community Recreation Professional
Professional Award –(from left) Board President Steve Ketterer, Carl Richardson, Executive Director John Arway

In addition to the high-quality caliber of his contributions to education, this award also lauds Mr. Richardson’s more than 20 years of accomplishments in reaching out to health and physical education teachers and recreation professionals, enabling them to provide fishing and safe boating programming in schools and communities.

“This award not only signifies Carl’s contributions, but also recognizes the great fortune that the Commission has in having him continue to provide his experience and expertise to his staff of educators,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

2013 Media Award Presented to Media Productions Section

The PFBC’s Media Production Section was recognized for three recent projects by the International Boating and Water Safety Summit, the premier boating and water safety education and training conference, hosted by the National Safe Boating Council and the National Water Safety Congress. At the annual conference, held in San Antonio this year, the PFBC received:

  • Honorable Mention (Poster/Signs): “Cold Water Kills” poster
  • Honorable Mention (Booklet/Brochure): “Hazards on the Water”
  • 3rd Place (Booklet/Brochure): “Pennsylvania Boating Handbook”

PFBC Media Productions Manager Spring Gearhart accepted the awards, which were presented by Virgil Chambers, Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council. Mr. Chambers was one of the founding fathers and an employee in the PFBC’s boating-safety and water rescue programs.

Media Award
Media Award – (from left) Board President Steve Ketterer, Spring Gearhart, Executive Director John Arway, Virgil Chambers

The Summit’s Media Awards recognize high-quality outreach and promotional media in a variety of formats provided by partner organizations and other entities that communicate and inform the public of the benefits of safe boating and responsible water safety practices.

“Acknowledgement of the Commission’s efforts in producing this media signifies that the Commission’s Media Production Section is producing printed publications at a caliber of international status for quality, design and message impact,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

The summit serves as the national forum to implement the Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program. More than 250 representatives of state agencies and profit and non-profit organizations were in attendance.

Media Contact
Eric Levis, Press Secretary
717.705.7806 or
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at
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