At the Mendham Township Committee meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Sam Tolley announced that Brookside Engine Co. 1 volunteer Evan Thomas was named as an honoree in the 2012 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards.
Thomas will be among the honorees at a ceremony and reception on Tuesday, May 1 at the Newark Museum in Newark.
"During Hurrican Irene and the snow storm in October Evan went above and beyond for the community," Tolley said. "This is not to take anything away from our other volunteers, but he was out there for well over 300 hours."
According to Tolley, he and Township Administrator Steve Mountain crafted a letter of reccomendation for Thomas.
"We submitted a nomination and it was accepted," Tolley said. "And I will be there with him for the ceremony in Newark."
The nomination letter is below in its entireity.
Mendham Township is a community renowned for its volunteers. In 2011, one volunteer, Evan Thomas, rose above all others in a way few will ever forget.
Evan Thomas is the Township’s Emergency Management Coordinator. This past year, the storm events of Hurricane Irene, and the equally damaging October Northeaster, ravaged our Township. Through it all, there was Evan coordinating emergency response activities and assisting those in need.
Under Evan’s leadership the Township’s emergency management operation mobilized in advance of the storm. He met with Township personnel to coordinate communication plans, open the emergency shelter, launched public awareness efforts and planned for every possible contingency. During the storm he oversaw emergency response and evacuation efforts, and coordinated communication with the public and the County Office of Emergency Management.
After several sleepless nights during the storm, Evan’s work was just beginning. For the next ten days, he manned the Township’s emergency shelter, responded to hundreds of requests for assistance, coordinated post storm clean up and power restoration efforts and managed assessment activities for FEMA reporting. Throughout it all he remained the beacon of strength on which everyone in the community was able to rely.
Evan’s service for Hurricane Irene totaled well in excess of 300 hours, including overnights, weekends and numerous 12 hour days. Evan received no compensation for any of this time. What makes this service even more remarkable is that Evan’s civic duties were performed in lieu of his job as a private contractor, costing him work for which he could otherwise have been compensated. His actions during these storms were not only selfless, but truly heroic.
It is with great pleasure that I nominate Evan Thomas for the Jefferson Award for public service. We are very proud of his efforts and feel he is most deserving of this award.