By ED SALVAS
Asbury Park Fire Marshal Garrett Giberson has been named recipient of the 2018 Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Asbury Park Carousel Award.
Giberson will receive the award at a Gala Dinner on May 11 in Convention Hall. His immediate response on learning about his selection was how honored he is to receive the award especially because it is named for Joan Flatley, the former Chamber Executive Director, who has been a friend for more than 30 years.
Giberson explained that at one time Flatley shared an office with his father, Beach Director Garrett Giberson, Sr. across from the Empress Motel where young Garrett would hang out.
“She planted the Spirit of of Asbury Park in me,” he said.
Today, Giberson is both fire marshal and Director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management. He’s also the president of the annual Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Giberson joined the APFD in 1998 and was named Fire Marshal in 2004. He’s responsible for conducting fire inspections and investigating fires to determine the cause and investigating suspected cases of arson. He also gives talks about fire safety in schools and before various organizations and tries to educate the public about following the fire code. He said the challenge is that property owners are often reluctant to spend the money to bring a building up to code.
The idea for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade came at the urging of John McGillion, owner of Johnny Mac’s House of Spirits as a way to generate commerce during a slow time of the year. Money raised at the parade is donated to organizations like the Asbury Park Little League, The Center and the Mayor’s Rodeo for Recreation. But it’s also an expensive and time consuming venture, and Giberson credits his eight member parade committee for helping him pull it off.
“I couldn’t do it without the committee,” Giberson said.
In addition to The Spirit of Asbury Park award the other 2018 honorees include Jennifer Lampert of the Festhalle and Bier Garten, the Visionary Award, Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas Arnone, Public Official, Genise Hughes of Asbury Park High School, The Humanitarian Award, and the Asbury Hotel the Kenneth T. Roth Landmark Business Award. In addition, Mayor John Moor will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Councilwoman Eileen Chapman will be given the President’s Award.
Tickets are $160. Reservations are available at www.CarouselAwards.com.