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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

October 13, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for September to Firefighter Tod Sehnert of Lincoln Fire and Rescue. 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.

Assistant Fire Chief John Huff nominated Sehnert in the category of productivity. Sehnert has worked for the City for more than 15 years. He was nominated for a project he took on in January 2006 when he recognized a lack of detailed site maps for many apartment complexes in the area in which his unit, Engine 4, responded. The maps that did exist were old ones hand drawn by Fire and Rescue personnel.

Sehnert thought there should be a better way to produce readable, accurate maps for the complexes. The maps also needed more information for emergency responders, such as building numbers and private fire hydrant and water main locations and sizes. The City-County Planning Department had a similar project under way, but had not started on apartment complexes. Sehnert volunteered to produce the site maps not just for his area, but for the entire City. He developed a process to convert aerial photos of apartment complexes to maps suitable for our emergency response.

Huff said he was impressed with Sehnert’s commitment to the project and the simplicity and affordability of the process he developed. The cost of the computer software was only about $40.

Sehnert did the work during his unassigned time, while on duty at the fire station, at no additional cost to the City. Huff said this kind of detailed computer mapping work was beyond what is expected or required of an employee of Sehnert’s rank.

To date, Sehnert has finished mapping 52 apartment complexes. The site plans are being integrated into the mobile data terminals on Fire and Rescue vehicles and are used by all members of the department.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, loss prevention, safety and valor. 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 Mayor’s Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available on the City Web site at (keyword: personnel) or 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.

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