NWSEO MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Meet NWSEO Member Alex Hoon
(January 15, 2020) NWSEO continues to collect nominations for our “NWSEO Member Spotlight” articles showcasing the work, dedication and talent of our members, inspiring others and connecting all of our union members.
Please meet NWSEO Member and Senior Meteorologist, IMET Alex Hoon of NWS Reno, Nevada. NWSEO congratulates Alex, the recipient of a Silver Medal by the Secretary of Commerce for meritorious service on the Carr Fire in Northern California in 2018.
Where are you from originally?
How long have you worked in NWS?
I've been with the NWS for about 13 years, I've done all my NWS time here in Reno, NV as a journeyman and then as a lead forecaster. My family and I fell in love with the western climate, the beautiful mountains, the great outdoors, and the great community here--not to mention we have a great office with awesome coworkers.
Why did you join NWSEO?
I had always been on the fence about joining the NWSEO, but never did. That is, until the 35-day federal government shutdown last year that convinced me that we are all in this together as federal employees, whether we are in the union or not. During the shutdown, I saw that many feds, including many of our own forecasters were struggling to get by when we missed those paychecks! I saw on TV there was a federal union rally in Washington DC and I watched my good friend Mark Pellerito speak to thousands as part of the rally! I talked to Mark about it afterwards and he told me that not only did he work a mid-shift the night before, but he drove all the way down from New York to DC! What Mark did that day really inspired me to become a part of the NWSEO.
What work do you do for the NWS?
I am a senior meteorologist here at the NWS office in Reno, NV. I am the fire weather program manager and incident meteorologist, as well.
What do you ENJOY about your job?
My favorite part of my job is being an Incident Meteorologist. I deploy to wildfires and other all-hazard incidents across the West. It's incredibly rewarding, working in remote locations with limited resources, helping to give firefighters critical weather information that saves lives and property. It's the best job in the weather service!
Would you recommend supporting NWSEO to others, if so, why?
I definitely think we need to support the NWSEO! Honestly, with the political climate the way it is, it's more important now than ever to be a part of the NWSEO. The 35 day government shutdown made that abundantly clear to me!
Tell us about the award you received.
This past fall I was honored to receive a Silver Medal by the Secretary of Commerce for meritorious service on the Carr Fire in Northern California in 2018. Upon arriving to the Carr Fire, I quickly realized that the winds were going to be much stronger than expected that day, and that there were many civilians, firefighters, homes, and businesses that were going to be directly impacted by these winds and rapidly spreading firestorm. I was able to notify the Incident Commander and fire leadership that the winds were going to be stronger than expected. We issued a rare evening update to the forecast and broadcast the warning to all the firefighters in the field, letting everyone know that the winds were going to carry the fire over the Sacramento River and into the City of Redding. The sheriff's office began to evacuate half the city of Redding, California--about 40,000 people--which allowed them to get people out of harm's way ahead of this catastrophic wind event and fire tornado that destroyed over 1,000 homes.
Hobbies, favorite places to visit or other favorites to share?
My favorite hobby is hunting. I enjoy hunting big game, elk, deer, antelope, even chukar. Another huge reason why I love to live out here in Nevada!
NWSEO Grieves Discrimination against Internal Applicants
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