Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for July to Firefighter Troy Hassebroek of Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR). The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the beginning of the City Council meeting at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Hassebroek has been with LFR since 2015. He was nominated in the categories of customer relations and productivity by Fire Prevention Inspector Rick Campos for his actions on one day in May that Campos said illustrates Hassebroek's character and desire to serve.
On that day, Hassebroek was on his way to Huntington Elementary for a public education program and a race against Principal R.I. Devney. He stopped at a bicycle accident to offer first aid to one of the two cyclists, and determined that a minor laceration was going to require medical treatment. Hassebroek put both bikes in his truck and took the injured person to a local injury clinic. Because it was closed, he took the person to a hospital for medical care. As he was leaving the hospital, Hassebroek helped two people in wheelchairs reach the hospital entrance by pushing them up a hill.
When Hassebroek arrived at the school, Campos said he quickly stepped into the role of fire safety educator, teacher and role model. He first visited classrooms to talk about home fire safety. Campos says Hassebroek's past experience as a teacher was evident as he gave students homework to complete. The kindergartners were asked to count the number of smoke detectors in their homes and report to their teachers the next day. Campos said this simple assignment reinforced math recall skills and provided an opportunity for children and parents to talk about fire safety at home.
The race was an obstacle course where Hassebroek and Devney gradually added 75 pounds of firefighter gear and performed different tasks. The race ended with the competitors donning self-contained breathing apparatus and running about 50 yards to the finish line. The finish included Hassebroek, a former Cornhusker football player, tackling Devney twice, the crowd shooting silly string at both competitors and a "Chariots of Fire" conclusion. Hassebroek and Devney capped off the race with "high-fives" to demonstrate their sportsmanship.
Campos said this one day was a great example of Hassebroek's dedication to helping Lincoln residents, including the next generation.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are safety, valor and loss prevention. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee's job description. All City employees are eligible for the award except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: hr) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Human Resources Department, which oversees the awards program.
All nominations are considered 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 $50 gift certificate, a day off with pay and a plaque. All monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 gift certificate, two days off with pay and a plaque.