News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Department of Culture is delighted to announce this year’s 2021 Grand Marshals: Dejon Simmons, Jeremy Madeiros and COVID-19 Incident Command.
And collectively, these individuals are deserving of this year’s recognition thanks to their perseverence, dedication and sacrifice.
Mr. Dejon Simmons:
Mr Simmons was selected for his extraordinary resilience in overcoming a serious motorbike accident which left him burned over 90 percent of his body. Dejon is well-known for his strength and inspirational manner, which allowed him to overcome this life-changing ordeal. The documentary about his experience, entitled The Documentary – Dejon Simmons emphasizes the importance of road safety. Mr Simmons has turned tragedy into triumph. He is a nine-time ‘Best of Bermuda’ award winner with over a decade of experience in publishing digital multimedia, Dejon’s tactical drive and collaborative assertion have carefully crafted him into becoming an innovative leader in Bermuda media. In 2012 he created the popular Bermudian digital platform BERMEMES, which quickly became a pillar in the island’s media landscape, changing the way Bermuda broadcasted information.
Jeremy Madeiros was chosen for his important conservation work, especially with regards to his stewardship of our national bird, the cahow, which is the perfect symbol of Bermudian resilience given how the cahow has been brought back from the brink of extinction.
The COVID-19 Incident Command was selected because of the incredible dedication this group has shown in the fight against the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Incident Command was set up early in 2020 as the Ministry of Health monitored the evolution and escalation of the public health crisis globally and locally. The Office of the Chief Medical Officer, through the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit started monitoring the coronavirus developments in December 2019 and by March 2020 it was evident that the Government would need a much larger infrastructure to battle the pandemic.
The Incident Command structure was adopted, headed jointly by the Director of Health, David Kendall, and the Chief Medical Officer, then Dr Cheryl Peek-Ball and later Dr Ayo Oyinloye. This is a multi-disciplinary group of professionals from public health and the wider community whose expertise, blood, sweat and tears has been at the leadership and on the front line of battling the pandemic and steering Bermuda to the success we have enjoyed as a country in mitigating the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Incident Command has recognised from the beginning that the pandemic would be a marathon, not a sprint. Bermuda owes a huge debt of gratitude to these tireless public health heroes whose resilience in the face of a once in a lifetime crisis is incomparable.
The COVID Incident Command comprises a number of organizations with the individuals below at the helm, plus a larger team of professionals and partners who have assisted throughout. Jennifer Wilson, a nurse epidemiologist, has been selected to accept the recognition on behalf of the group.