News :: Herb Governor Award


newsHerb Firestone (Retired) Receives Award




Governor Timothy M. Kaine honored state employees selected for outstanding service to the Commonwealth during an awards ceremony held in Richmond on May 17, 2007.  Seven individuals or teams of state employees were honored during the ceremony.


The Governor noted that over 200 nominations were received for the Governor’s Awards, a program in its sixth year.  “This year’s recipients rose to the top in what proved to be a very competitive selection process,” Governor Kaine said.  “These award recipients truly are the best of the best.”


Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute is pleased

to announce that Herbert Firestone, Power Plant Supervisor

(now retired), was selected for a Governor’s award in the

category of Innovation.


Below are excerpts from Governor Kaine’s May 17, 2007, press release regarding Herbert Firestone:


Visitors to the Southwestern VA Mental Health Institute Power Plant frequently remark regarding the cleanliness and maintenance of the plant equipment.


As they become more familiar with the plant operation via review of records, they are amazed by the efficiency of the plant and material condition of equipment, which has been in continued use for 30+ years.

The success of the SWVMHI Power Plant is dependent upon the dedication and teamwork of our Boiler Operators; however, much credit for this success is resultant from the dedication, perseverance, and hard work of the Power Plant Supervisor, Mr. Herb Firestone.


Mr. Firestone is diligent to ensure all equipment/systems are operating per design daily and is quick to determine excessive use of feed water chemicals, fuel and immediately notifies his supervisor and/or Physical Plant Services personnel to assist in determining the problem and corrective action.


These efforts save the facility several thousand dollars annually in reduced demand for water and chemicals/fuel to supply additional make-up water which would be lost were it not for Mr. Firestone's efforts.

Mr. Firestone brainstormed and determined that the former Laundry and Carpentry Shop Buildings could be heated much of the cold season with low pressure steam, which was being exhausted to the atmosphere. By expending approximately $400 in materials and minimal labor, Mr. Firestone was able to modify piping servicing these buildings, which enables the facility to heat these buildings with throw away steam.

This modification saves the facility $10 - $12,000 annually.  His 35+ years of dedicated service has helped ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Power Plant in producing steam in support of a comfortable environment of care.