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June 8, 2024
State of MD - Jeffrey C. Thomas has been selected as the Lower Eastern Regional Office nominee for Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year. He will join other investigators chosen throughout the state for the 2023 James C. Robertson Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year Award during the Maryland State Fireman's Convention in Ocean City this month.

Master Deputy State Fire Marshal Thomas was nominated by his supervisor, Deputy Chief Matt Stevens, and his peers of the Lower Eastern Region, which comprises Dorchester, Wicomico, and Somerset counties.

He began his employment with the Office of the State Fire Marshal on July 2, 2008, later graduating from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy. He was initially assigned to the Upper Eastern Regional Office in Easton, where he demonstrated exceptional service until October 2014, when he transferred to the Lower Eastern Regional Office in Salisbury to be closer to his family in Salisbury shortly after being hired.

A testament to his expertise and dedication, Thomas was accepted into the OSFM canine program in April 2014, where he graduated from the ATF's National Canine Division with an accelerant detection canine, "Billie." Deputy Thomas and K9 Billie served with distinction until Billie's retirement in October 2022. Deputy Thomas promptly returned to the national canine program, graduating with K9 Deacon in November 2022, where he continues to serve.

In 2023, Deputy Thomas and K9 Deacon responded to 12 statewide calls, showcasing their specialized skills in fire investigations. Additionally, they actively participated in public education and community risk reduction events, emphasizing their commitment to public safety.

"Master Deputy Thomas's dedication to his colleagues is a testament to his character. He consistently goes above and beyond to assist them, even after hours, demonstrating his willingness to support the team in any capacity. His adept management of complex criminal cases and completion of numerous fire safety inspections underscore his versatility and proficiency within the agency, making him a valuable asset to the team." wrote Stevens in his nomination of Thomas.

Thomas was the lead investigator on 24 investigations and achieved a 40% closure rate on incendiary cases in 2023, reflecting his effectiveness in resolving intricate investigations. He completed 25 job-related training courses, totaling 111 hours, and conducted 126 fire safety inspections.

Deputy Thomas assumed the role of senior investigator in the Lower Eastern Regional Office, demonstrating his readiness to shoulder additional responsibilities. His exemplary leadership qualities have been evident in his role as acting Regional Commander, where he manages complex scenes and ensures operational continuity.

Outside of his professional responsibilities, Deputy Thomas spends time with his family and enjoys the natural beauty of the eastern shore through hunting and fishing.