Pictured above, from left: Brian Shine of Manitoba Corp., ISRI chair-elect,
presents Gene Reed of OmniSource with the ISRI Safe Driver of the Year Award.
At the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) 2017 Convention and Exposition, Gene Reed of OmniSource Corp., headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was presented with ISRI’s Safe Driver of the Year Award for completing 46 verifiable years of safe driving without a single preventable accident.
“In my 30 years of transportation and safety, I cannot recall a driver who has accomplished so much,” says Commodor Hall, ISRI transportation safety director. “Gene has set the standard for others to follow, having given so much of himself and gone above and beyond on so many occasions. In the 1970s and early ’80s truck drivers were often referred to as ‘Knights of the Road.’ I can honestly state that Gene Reed is one of those Knights of the Road.”
ISRI’s Safe Driver of the Year Award, now in its fifth year, recognizes outstanding drivers who have driven a commercial vehicle for at least 20 years without incurring a preventable accident. Nominations for the honor may be submitted by ISRI members in good standing. Nominees must be full-time employees whose primary responsibility is to operate a commercial motor vehicle; current employees of the nominating member company who have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months; and meet the minimum requirement of 10 years of verifiable employment as a commercial motor vehicle technician. Nominations must be made by someone familiar with the nominee’s work history, such as manager or safety director. No more than three drivers may be nominated from the same member company.
Other criteria for consideration include the driver’s contribution to highway safety (driver trainer), letters of appreciation, deeds of heroism on or off the job and civic and fraternal organization membership.
“Gene’s humble personality, commitment to safety and attention to the ‘basics’ are some key fundamentals he exhibits as a driver trainer for OmniSource,” says Russell Rinn, president and COO of OmniSource. “Gene continues to serve his community tirelessly, not losing touch with his dedication and spirit, as he perseveres through the everyday challenges on our streets and highway as a professional truck driver.”
Reed’s other accolades include being inducted into the National Private Truck Council – Bridgestone Firestone Drive Hall of Fame in 2006. He also is credited with the heroic act of saving another driver’s life following an accident and has a strong track record of community service.
Reed volunteers for the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, including having served as chairman of the Communications Committee, and served on the Emergency Services Committee. He also recently joined his local volunteer fire department.
Reed has also been a leader in the Northeastern Indiana Allen County Medical Response Team (MRT) Command Staff. He was selected as one of two drivers entrusted with MADE – 1 (Mobile Advanced Disaster Element One), a 45-foot van trailer that was converted into a mobile emergency room. He then developed a system to load the vehicle into a military C-5 aircraft for deployment. In addition to these responsibilities, Reed led the logistics units during field deployments, mobilizing specialized equipment and supplies, and served as a strike team leader, team treasurer and MRT trainer.
He has traveled to other regions of the country to assist in hurricane recovery efforts. Following Hurricane Katrina, Reed devoted two weeks to help re-establish communications infrastructure in New Orleans. He also was present in New Orleans when Hurricane Rita came ashore, assisting in helping victims, and assisted in recovery efforts following Hurricane Marilyn in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1995.
In addition to travel to and lodging at the convention, Reed received an award, personalized certificate, ISRI Safe Driver leather jacket, congratulatory letter and a $500 personal check.
The second-place winner was James Cody of Sims Metal Management in Sacramento, California. Third place went to Mike O’Connor of Sadoff Iron and Metal in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.