Fire Chief given award for work, leadership role
Each year an outstanding resident is honored in Basehor.
And this year the annual Basehor Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award went to Jeff Theno, who is best known as the fire chief for the Fairmount Township Fire Department.
Presented in surprise fashion at the city's annual Fourth of July celebration, the Citizen of the Year Award helps to recognize an individual who has contributed to the betterment of the community. Peers and organizations nominate candidates for the award and the Chamber Board of Directors reviews each nomination form before making a decision.
The couple who nominated Theno preferred to remain anonymous, but stated on their nomination form that Theno "would truly be a deserving recipient" for the amount of time he puts in at the fire station and especially the work and construction expertise he's lent on a volunteer basis to build the new addition onto the station.
On top of his regular duties at the fire station, the nominators stated that as chief, Theno must also deal with personnel issues as well as the public on a day-to-day basis, which is something most people don't realize. He is also the owner of two local businesses: What's New Bagel and Espresso, and Howard Theno and Sons Builders.
"He has shown great leadership in handling difficult situations," the couple said in their nomination form.
Theno was rightly the last to know about the award. His entire family including his wife, children, parents and most of the Fairmount Township Fire Department had a hand in luring him to the awards presentation Friday evening before the fireworks display without revealing that he was the recipient of the award.
"I had no idea at all," Theno said. "I was just shocked. I didn't expect that at all. It was a great honor."