DeWayne Householter, longtime Salvationist and until recently Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) coordinator for the Heartland Division, was presented the first-ever Major Bill Heaver SATERN Award at the division’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Summit. The award, which is planned to be annual, was named after the late Major Bill Heaver who built SATERN teams across the division. DeWayne was nominated for the recognition by Sam Amick, Heartland EDS and service extension director, and it was presented by Major Michele Heaver, SATERN project coordinator and national committee chair, in honor of her husband.
“I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to present DeWayne with the award on behalf of Bill,” said Major Michele. “Bill was very passionate about SATERN and built multiple teams across the Heartland Division, as well as in Elk Grove Village with Major David Dalberg, which was his last appointment. DeWayne has shown that same passion for growing SATERN’s presence and emergency communications capabilities.”
DeWayne began serving with EDS in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina by providing emotional and spiritual care and other assistance. He originally had no thoughts of becoming involved with SATERN but was drawn to the team based on his prior experience as an amateur radio operator.
“I had been working with HAM radio equipment as a hobby since high school,” he explained. “SATERN seemed like a great fit for those skills, and God helped me direct that passion to a good use.”
During his service as SATERN coordinator, DeWayne set up a station at the Pekin, Ill., EDS building with the call letters K9SHD. “K9SHD” signifies the Heartland Division, and the station’s reach covers most of central Illinois and parts of Iowa.
“SATERN stands ready with a variety of worldwide and local emergency communications capabilities in disasters where cell phone towers are down,” said DeWayne. “It’s been an honor to be involved with growing SATERN’s reach in the Heartland Division.”
Though he’s retiring, DeWayne expects to remain involved with SATERN. Some of his areas of focus moving forward will be recruiting and training new volunteers who are passionate about SATERN and The Salvation Army’s mission, as well as expanding SATERN’s technology.
“I was proud to nominate DeWayne for the Major Bill Heaver Award,” concluded Sam. “Passionate Salvationists like DeWayne are what keep SATERN and EDS capable of responding comprehensively in any emergency. It has been a joy to work with him.”