Congratulations to Chris Maher, Lieutenant of the Margate Fire Department, who received a complimentary Furnace and install as the winner of the First Annual First Responders Contest from Clays Climate Control.

The judges were Diane Mitchell, cohost of the 95.1 WAYV Mike & Diane Morning Show, and Joe Molineaux from the Press of Atlantic City.


Submission Letter

I am nominating Chris because he is a true hero, and definitely is mine! I first met Chris when I was 5 and he was working as a lifeguard for the Longport Beach Patrol in addition to serving as a Margate firefighter. I've always had an interest in firefighting and lifeguarding and looked up to many of the guards on the LPBP who were also firemen. Chris always took the time to explain things to me about water safety on the beach and welcomed me into the firehouse for lots of visits. Over the years Chris has not only become someone I consider a mentor but also a great friend.

Anyone that knows Chris would agree that he is selfless and would do anything to help out someone in need. He has visited Seaview Elementary School for many years during Fire Safety Week to give demonstrations and lessons about staying safe in a fire emergency. All done on his own time because he is happy to help people in his community. Chris and his wife Jess are also very involved with the organization, Heart of Surfing. Together they volunteer their time to give children and adults with special needs the experience of surfing and enjoying the ocean.

For me personally, Chris has always been so generous with his time and sharing his knowledge. When I was younger, I wanted to do a charity paddle called "Freezin for a Reason" but I was too young and small to be allowed to participate alone; Chris signed us up and we completed the course together.

More recently for me I had an experience this Summer where a friend was seriously injured while surfing and I was one of the first people to get to him. He had suffered a severe laceration to his leg and his bone was visible. I had to try and close the wound to reduce the bleeding and wait until the lifeguards got to us. Afterwards I was pretty shaken up and when Chris heard about what happened, he called me to talk to me about how I was feeling after seeing something like I did and just talk about all the things that went right. In his profession he has had to see people at their worst moments and he knew what I may be feeling and was there to help support me.

As a lifelong Linwood resident, Chris has chosen to stay in town and start a family with his wife Jess. Jess opened Jessie's of Linwood about a year and a half ago and it quickly has become a safe place for kids to meet up. It has been a great addition to town and speaks so much about the kind of people both Chris and Jess are. They host events to support people with special needs and give back to the community that they call home.

I think that Chris is a true hero because he not only has chosen a career where he serves the community but he lives his life giving back to others. He is a selfless man with a big heart and deserves to be recognized by all as a real hometown hero.

Thank you for considering Chris. I really hope that you see him for all that he is and give him the help of a new furnace. With a baby on the way he is working hard renovating their home to try and make sure that they have a good, safe home to welcome their baby and the furnace would be a huge help.

Best Regards,
Seamus Carey
Age 14 and Linwood Resident

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