Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for May to Bus Operator José Regueira. 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 today's City Council meeting.
Regueira, who has worked for the StarTran Division of Public Works and Utilities since 2004, was nominated in the categories of loss prevention and valor for his quick response to a recent fire on a StarTran HandiVan. He was nominated by Bus Operations Superintendent Mike Weston.
At about 4 p.m. April 13, Regueira was notified by a passing motorist of a fire coming from the rear of the HandiVan he was operating. Regueira stopped immediately and unloaded his wheelchair bound passenger, then returned to the burning vehicle to use the radio to notify StarTran dispatch.
Regueira then retrieved the fire extinguisher from the vehicle and put out the fire before Lincoln Fire and Rescue arrived. The fire was under the rear of the vehicle, dangerously close to the fuel lines and fuel tank. Weston says Regueira's quick actions stopped the fire from spreading and prevented a potential deadly situation from occurring.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, productivity and safety. 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 at lincoln.ne.gov (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.