Town of Nags Head names fire captain Employee of the Year

At their December 2, 2020 meeting, Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners named Fire Captain John Kenny as the Town’s 2020 Earl Murray, Jr. Employee of the Year. The other nominees for this year’s Earl Murray, Jr. Employee of the Year award were: Police Officer Brandon Bostwick, Tax Collector Linda Bittner, Planning and Development Department Administrative Assistant Kim Thompson, and Sanitation Equipment Operator Anthony Beasley. [Town photo]

At their Dec. 2 meeting, Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners named Fire Captain John Kenny the Town’s 2020 Earl Murray Jr. Employee of the Year.

Presented by the Board each December, the award, named after Police Sergeant Earl Murray, who died in the line of duty in May 2009, recognizes Town employees who have excelled in:

  • attitude towards the public and co-workers
  • performance
  • quality of work
  • willingness to cooperate with others
  • attendance

The award recipient, chosen from a list of nominations presented by Town department heads, receives a plaque and a cash reward.

John began his career with Nags Head in June 1987 as a water services technician in the Public Works Department. In March 1989, John completed training to become a firefighter and transferred to the Fire Department.

“Captain Kenny has served the people of Nags Head for over 30 years. He consistently shows that public service is his passion and he will go to greatly lengths to ensure that the safety of the citizens, visitors, and our personnel are his priority,” said Nags Head Fire Chief Randy Wells.

Throughout his years with Nags Head Fire Rescue, John has served as firefighter, emergency medical technician, and a lifeguard, as well as acted as a coach, mentor, and counselor to the department. His compassion drove him to receive training in critical incident stress debriefing, which prepares individuals to identify first responders who need emotional support after a tragedy, provide them with emotion first aid and guide them to getting help.

As John continued to demonstrate excellence in his work, his career progressed steadily, and, in 1996, he was promoted to his current position as captain.

“John, more than anything, is a symbol to our department of what character, commitment and especially compassion, look like in action,” said Chief Wells.

The other nominees for this year’s Earl Murray, Jr. Employee of the Year award are:

  • Police Officer Brandon Bostwick
  • Tax Collector Linda Bittner
  • Planning and Development Department Administrative Assistant Kim Thompson
  • Sanitation Equipment Operator Anthony Beasley

“This is one of the most meaningful things we do and it is an important day,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “When people ask me about being the mayor of Nags Head, I tell them it’s really a pretty easy job. The reason it’s so easy is because we have a great group of employees who do their jobs well. I appreciate you making my time here easy and for leading the way in your various departments and demonstrating excellent service to our public. Every year when we receive the slate of nominees for this award, choosing who will win the award is incredibly tough. You all represent the best of the Town of Nags Head.”

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.