Tom S. Hurley Public Safety Service Award


Tom S. Hurley, born May 26, 1981 dedicated his life to serving his community. He worked for the Boone County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) from 2016 to 2019 when he was promoted to Director, a position he held until his unexpected passing June 30, 2019.

Tom Hurley portrait

Tom always knew he wanted to spend his life as a public servant and was particularly drawn to the emergency services field. He graduated from Hickman High School in 1999, and continued his education earning an associate degree in Fire Science from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, MI and a bachelor's degree in Public Administration from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

In addition to working at OEM, he served as a Boone County Fire Protection District volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical technician at the University Hospital, Emergency Management Coordinator in Eau Claire, WI, and a park ranger at Carlsbad Caverns in NM.

There is no better way to describe Tom's selfless spirit, then this excerpt from his eulogy:

Tom's convictions and integrity were his compass in life. He would help anyone, and in fact, dedicated his professional life to doing just that. Those who worked with him remember him as a consummate public servant, dedicated to responding to people and his community in their hour of greatest need ‐ always without fail, and never with the expectation of accolades or thanks. For Tom, being of service to others, especially those in need, was simply the essence of his character.

Award Presentation

We will be presenting a Public Safety Service Award to honor Tom Hurley, late OEM Director. This award seeks to recognize an individual, paid or unpaid, agency or organization which embodies the qualities and spirit of Tom S. Hurley, in their championship of, and service to, the community. The recipient of this award goes above and beyond their day-to-day work or duties before, during or after times of disaster to provide a lasting effect, and/or impart significant contributions to fostering preparedness, responding to emergencies, or building community resilience.

Please complete the nomination form to recommend a candidate for the award.

Award Entry Criteria

  • Must be a resident of, or agency/organization/business within, Boone County, MO.
  • If nominating an individual, they may be paid or un-paid (volunteer) for their services, but must exemplify a contribution above and beyond, or outside of their day-to-day duties.
  • Made a significant contribution to the community in the realm of preparedness, emergency response, or community resilience in the last 12 months.


Award Nomination Guidelines

Nominations will be collected from July 1 to July 31 each year. All nomination submissions will be reviewed, and the recipient selected, by the Award Selection Committee. The award will be presented to the selected recipient at the annual Boone County Ready Festival during National Preparedness Month in September.

To submit a nomination, follow the below instructions:

  • Complete this nomination form on the Boone County Office of Emergency Management website following the guidelines.
  • Ensure all elements are addressed and a detailed description of services and their impact is included.
  • If needed, nominations may be mailed to the Boone County Office of Emergency Management but MUST be post marked by July 31st. Nominations postmarked after this date will not be considered.
  • Award Selection Committee
    Boone County Office of Emergency Management
    2145 County Drive
    Columbia, MO 65202

The Award Selection Committee is comprised of public safety officials and first responders operating in Boone County or the municipalities within.

2022 Award Selection Committee Members include representatives from the following agencies:

  • Boone County Office of Emergency Management
  • Boone Health
  • University of Missouri
  • Boone County Joint Communications
  • University of Missouri Healthcare
  • University of Missouri Police
  • Columbia Police Department
  • Boone County Fire Protection District

For questions, please contact event organizer, Hannah Wichern at or 573-554-7912.