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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30, 2008

City employees to be honored at public sector recognition ceremony

Seven employees and one project team from the City of Kansas City, Mo., will be honored in a variety of categories at the Federal Executive Boards’ 15th Annual Public Employee Recognition Day awards ceremony May 6. The ceremony starts at 2 p.m. in the Kansas City Convention Center’s Little Theater, 201 W. 13th St.

The event is part of National Public Service Recognition Week, which honors the men and women who serve as federal, state and local government employees.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser will address those in attendance and City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen will present City employees with their awards.

This year, the City will be represented by these eight individuals/groups:

Kathleen Hefner and Katy Sell, Aviation Department – Distinguished Administrative/Professional Award
Hefner and Sell coordinated and planned the Aviation Department’s 2007 Annual Conference of the Airports Council International-North America, which was a five-day event with attendees representing senior management from almost every significant commercial service airport in North America.

Tina Weatherspoon, Capital Improvements Management Office -- Distinguished Clerical Award
Weatherspoon has spent a significant amount of time working on charity committees, coordinating activities, including groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, and assisting new department team members in getting up to speed on their job duties.

Captain Donnie Steinbrugge, Fire Department – Distinguished Valor Award
Steinbrugge was the safety officer for Battalion Chief 107 on Feb. 16, 2007 during a two-story commercial structure fire. Conditions in the structure changed to heavy smoke causing the firefighters to immediately evacuate. Steinbrugge grabbed the nearest hose and sprayed escaping firefighters to extinguish their gear, then took the hose line and entered the building. Steinbrugge found the remaining firefighters and led them to safety.

Joshua Blankenship, Fire Department – Distinguished Valor Award
Blankenship was part of the second Pumper Company crew at the Feb. 16, 2007 two-story structure fire. As he and his captain moved to backup a previously deployed hose line, Blankenship saw plumes of smoke as the room became engulfed in fire. Blankenship worked his way around obstacles to find a fellow firefighter who was incapacitated and lying under a table. Blankenship pulled the firefighter out and saved his life.

Sergeant Michael Griggs, Police Department – Distinguished Valor Award
Griggs served at a shooting at Ward Parkway Center. Griggs determined it would be tactically advantageous to enter from the north into a Target store. Upon entering, Griggs spotted a man who matched the description of the shooter. The man was holding a shotgun in a ready-to-fire position and scanning the area. Griggs determined he had a clear shot and fired, hitting and killing the suspect.

Power and Light District Surveillance Camera Project Team, Various Departments (project managed under the General Services Department) – Distinguished Team Award
Employees of seven City departments, seven department divisions and four City offices came together to develop and deploy a state-of-the-art surveillance system within the new Power and Light Entertainment District. The team had an 18 1/2 –week window before the Big 12 Basketball Tournament began, and were able to design, procure and install the system in time for the event.

Mike Carney – Distinguished Trade/Craft Award
Carney is the only Master Mechanic license holder in the Waste Water treatment division of the Water Services Department. He also holds licenses in HVAC and refrigerant recover and a Commercial Drivers License. Carney has helped save the department money by repairing equipment quickly and replacing numerous water lines at treatment facilities.

Media inquiries and other requests for more information about these awards should be directed to Eugene Johnson III, City Manager's Office, (816) 513-2755.

    
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