FSWO announces 2019 winner of the FSWO Diversity and Inclusion Award, Captain Thomas Keaney

This year’s worthy award recognizes the work and accomplishments of Captain Thomas Geoffrey Keaney who has 17 years of service with the Burlington Fire Department making a difference in the delivery of services and the wellbeing of others.

Captain Keaney’s role as a mentor began early in his career training others in many first responder responsibilities. His leadership and commitment in making a difference led to his selection and participation in the Mohawk Leadership Program and eventual appointment as the only fire representative to the City of Burlington’s Diversity and Inclusivity Team. This Diversity and Inclusivity Team authored the first ever guide for the Corporation of the City of Burlington to begin initiatives for addressing issues and raising awareness to be more inclusive both as a corporation and as an example to others in the community.

Captain Keaney’s hard work led to a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusivity study that was presented and approved by the City of Burlington Leadership team and was put into practice across many departments. As a member of the Burlington Fire Department, Captain Keaney gained a greater understanding and expertise that he was able to share with his fellow workers of the issues and barriers that exist in Burlington’s growing and diverse communities.

In promoting the benefits that a supportive diverse and inclusive environment can bring both within the fire service and in the community, Captain Keaney and his commitment to diversity and inclusivity serves as an exemplary example for other fire services to follow. Special mention of Captain Keaney’s work was the introduction of the Truth and Reconciliation Awareness program that has educated other members in the Burlington Fire Department with a greater level of engagement and empathy for the citizens they serve.

Nominator: Deputy Fire Chief Anna Everett, Burlington Fire Department