City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for May to Firefighter William “Brad” Thavenet. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City. The award was presented at the beginning of today’s City Council meeting.
Thavenet was nominated by Captain Dewey Novak of Lincoln Fire and Rescue in the category of loss prevention. Thavenet has been employed with the City for almost five years and recently received the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department’s Award of Merit. He also was recently appointed as a corporate trainer for Dive Rescue International, an honor bestowed on only 31 fire and law enforcement employees worldwide. This allows him to teach water rescue techniques to other agencies while representing Lincoln Fire and Rescue at an international level.
Thavenet is assigned to Truck 8-A and is the dive team leader on A-shift. Novak said Thavenet was concerned that the department was not meeting national water rescue standards and did not have adequate certified training in water rescues. He personally paid about $3,800 to become certified in numerous areas, including public safety scuba, dive rescue and ice diving. Thavenet continues to maintain this level of expertise without departmental aid.
For Lincoln Fire and Rescue, this means the department is able to comply with more national water rescue standards. Members of the water rescue team are currently being certified in various disciplines. Management policies, equipment and safety standards are continually being updated.
“This (certification) is all being done with the advantage of Brad’s national instructor rating,” wrote Novak in his nomination. “This in-house training adds up to a departmental savings in excess of $20,000 this year based on class tuition alone.”
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are productivity, customer relations, safety and valor. All City employees are eligible for the Mayor’s Award of Excellence except for elected officials and some managers. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public.
Nomination forms are available from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are reviewed by the Mayor’s Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.