No injuries reported as tractor trailer overturns on Hwy. 53

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson reported that a tractor trailer overturned at 11:05 a.m. today on SR 53 just east of GA 400. There were no injuries and the investigation is under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol. No further details are available at this time. Fetch Your News will have more information as it becomes available.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Five people injured in Dawson County wreck Thursday

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Chief Danny Thompson

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Five people were injured in a single-vehicle accident on Hwy. 136 West between New Hope Road and Crane Road this afternoon (Feb. 1).

Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson said, “First arriving units found one vehicle down an embankment containing five patients. Dawson Fire responded with two engines, two med units, a mutual aid med unit from Pickens County and Air Life 3.”

Thompson did not provide additional details on the identity of the individuals injured or the the extent of their injuries.

“I am very proud of the hard work of my personnel and the Dawson County Sheriff’s Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this motor vehicle accident,” he said.

The Georgia State Patrol has taken over the accident investigation.

Fetch Your News will have additional information as soon as it is available.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Dawson Co. to surrender control of Fire Station 8

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David Headley

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County is expected to surrender operational control of Fire Station 8 off Monument Road to Pickens County this month, once a new intergovernmental agreement (IGA) is ratified by the two governments.

Under the current IGA, Dawson County has operated the station located in the remote Wildcat Community, parts of which are in both counties. But Dawson County came under heavy criticism from area residents who complained the county was slow to respond when a home on Burnt Mountain Road burned to the ground last November.

During a subsequent town hall meeting angry homeowners grilled Dawson County Manager David Headley and Fire and Emergency Services Chief Danny Thompson about why Fire Station 8 was not notified since they are the closest station to the fire.

Danny Thompson

Thompson blamed the oversight on the Dawson computer aided dispatch (CAD) system. But he explained that even if the station had been notified, the home could not have been saved because the support volunteers are not certified by the Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council to suppress fires. Without that certification their response is limited to laying hose and preparing for the arrival of certified firefighters.

Thompson, who was hired to replace Lanier Swafford in May, said he did not learn right away the support volunteers at Fire Station 8 had been putting out fires against state regulations and that he had been working to rectify the situation.

In December, he directed the volunteers to attend mandatory training provided by Dawson County so they could obtain certification. But 12 of the 13 volunteers refused to obey the order.

Lt. John Tarantini, who supervised Station 8, said he and his men preferred to attend training by Pickens County instead. Thompson said that was unacceptable and would violate the original IGA.

Thompson called Tarantini to his office in order to demote him to support staff but Tarantini resigned and all but one of the volunteers also resigned, leaving the station unmanned.

Since then, Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond and Pickens County Chairman Rob Jones along with Thompson and the Pickens County Fire Chief have been meeting to draft a new IGA.

Under the proposed new agreement, Pickens will take over operational control of the station and become responsible for training and equipping the volunteers and providing workers compensation insurance. Pickens also will continue to provide insurance for the building and contents of the station.

Dawson County will transfer title of the fire engine and other contents of the station to Pickens which will insure both the engine and tender. Existing hoses and equipment will remain at the station.

Both counties will continue to utilize the station to provide automatic aid to adjoining areas under the Dawson/Pickens County Automatic Aid Agreement.

Dawson County Board of Commissioners could ratify the agreement at the Jan. 17 meeting.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Dawson gets first look at Pickens IGA proposal counters with key modifications

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Commission Billy Thurmond

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Officials in Dawson and Pickens counties, who have been working to re-write a 10-year old intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in an effort to get Fire Station No. 8 in the Wildcat Community operating again, exchanged first drafts Wednesday.

The station was effectively closed earlier this month when the 13 firefighters – all volunteers – refused an order by Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson to participate in training to help them gain state certification and turned in their resignations.

The area served by Station No. 8 is located in both counties and the two governments entered into an IGA in 2008 to facilitate purchase of the land, construction of the building, and provide for management and training. Since the mass resignation, Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond and Pickens County Chairman Rob Jones have been working to re-negotiate the IGA.

“The meetings went very well,” Thurmond said Wednesday. “We both realize the main goal is to protect the community. To do that, we need an agreement in place that everyone can get along with.”

Dawson County received Pickens’ first draft of a new IGA Wednesday and, while there are still many issues to be negotiated, one issue that appears to be agreeable to each side is that Pickens County will assume operational control of the station.

After reviewing the draft, Thurmond said, “This is a work in progress. There probably will be more changes.” Late Wednesday, he discussed Pickens’ draft with Thompson and there were several additional areas of agreement that included, but are not limited to:

  • Pickens will maintain the fire station;
  • Pickens County shall provide insurance for the building and its contents;
  • Pickens County shall assume operation of the fire station and operate it as a substation of Pickens County Emergency Services;
  • Dawson County shall transfer title of Engine 8 and Pickens County will insure it;
  • Dawson County shall maintain the title of the existing tanker truck and insure and maintain it;
  • Pickens County shall obtain the necessary Compliance Certification for the fire station from the Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council.

There are also a number of areas where Dawson County wants modifications to the Pickens proposal. They include, but are not limited to, how the counties will respond to situations where automatic aid is provided, who will provide radio equipment for the station, who will provide insurance and drivers for the tanker.

While Pickens County agrees to provide training, equipment and workers compensation insurance for volunteer firefighters, Dawson County wants Pickens to also provide cancer insurance for them just as it does now.

Where the Pickens proposal states that it will provide administrative support and leadership, Dawson wants it clearly spelled out that “All personnel will operate as to their level of certification as outlined by the Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council. The newest edition of this manual shall be in effect and the Jurisdiction having Authority shall have operational control at all emergency incidents.”

Once the two sides agree on a draft, it must be submitted to the Boards of Commissioners in both counties for final approval.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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Battalion Chief Dooley named Fire Officer of the Year

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Fire & Emergency Services hosted its annual awards banquet at Amicalola Lodge Friday.

Department Director Danny Thompson said, “This year was a very exciting year for the department and I am very proud of this year’s award recipients.”

Fire Officer of the Year was awarded to Battalion Chief Jason Dooley. Dooley is assigned to C-Shift but assists the department as the Deputy EMA Director. He deployed to south Georgia to assist after Hurricane Michael ravaged the state. “His dedication and commitment to the citizens of Dawson County is unparalleled,” Thompson said.

Tim Cameron received the Firefighter/Paramedic of the Year award. “Firefighter Cameron is one of the best Fire/Medics I have ever had the privilege to work with in my career,” Thompson said. “His positive attitude is contagious and he is highly respected among his peers.”

The Firefighter/EMT of the Year award went to Matt Harbin. Harbin is assigned to the Georgia Body Recover Team as a K-9 handler and has had numerous deployments over this year. “Harbin spent almost seven days in Mexico City Beach, Florida after Hurricane Michael,” Thompson said. “He has responded across the State of Georgia for missing person searches as well for searches here in Dawson County.”

Volunteer Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Randy Edwards. “Edwards offers back to his community over 48 hours a month,” said Thompson. “Once a week he rides a 12-hour shift with our personnel and provides excellent customer service.”

All award winners will be available for photos and interviews at Fire Station 1 Friday at 1 p.m.

 

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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Hamby, Headley honored for outstanding achievement during Thursday work session

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners had a busy work session agenda Thursday, but took time out to honor two individuals for very special accomplishments – County Manager David Headley and District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby.

Hamby will be retiring from the Board at the end of the month following eight years in office. The Board presented him a plaque in honor of his dedicated service to Dawson County and held a reception for him following the meeting.

County Manager David Headley was named as the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission Appointed Official of the Year recently. The region covers 13 counties and 51 municipalities. “We’re proud of David and his recognition as Official of the Year,” said Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond.

Public Works Director David McKee addressed the Board on several issues. The first was a course aggregate contract bid submitted by Vulcan Materials in the amount of $161,664. The current contract has expired and all renewal year options have been exhausted. The department has a full-time paving crew on staff to perform the Local Maintenance Improvement Grant work and several miles of other road work and parking lot repairs.

The current contract to purchase hot asphaltic mix has also exhausted all renewal years and Mckee asked the Board to accept contracts with Baldwin Paving, Blunt Construction and CW Matthews Contracting to provide the product. Each company offered the low bids on the various items required.

Mckee brought another long-standing issue of the intersection of Lumpkin Campground Road and SR 53 before the Board. He pointed out the county has partnered with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to install a right-hand turn lane along the Lumpkin Campground mainline. SR 53 traffic will not be changed. Upon completion, GDOT will adjust all traffic signals. The project qualifies for SPLOST VI funds, Impact Fee funds or General Fund.

Commissioners also discussed a highway beautification project. The county has been looking for ways to landscape areas along the GA 400 Corridor that are within the GDOT right-of-way for 10 years. The project requires special encroachment permits, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the long-term maintenance of this corridor. In September, the project was bid and two bids were received with a total bid cost was $116,246.85, which is $69,556.85 over the total grant amount. The project is not SPLOST VI eligible, and additional funding will have to come from another source such as the general fund. McKee asked the Board for direction on the project.

GEBCorp Regional Client Manager Ryan Reynolds presented commissioners with options for a county employee retirement plan

Planning & Development Director Jameson Kinley presented a review of the 2018 comprehensive plan.

The purpose of the plan to provide guidance for everyday decision making by local government officials and other community leaders. It represents the efforts of the government, the residents and various stakeholders by identifying the critical issues and goals for the communy. The plan has been approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The Board can amend the plan at any time.

Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Kinley to add a summer intern to work on Geographic Information System issues within Planning and Development. The position is fully funded by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson asked for Board approval to apply for the annual Georgia Forestry Commission 50/50 grant program. The maximum allowed on this grant is $10,000.00. Thompson said the grant is needed to purchase replacement fire hoses, nozzles and scene lights. This grant will not be awarded until spring of 2019.

Commissioners unanimously approved Thompson’s request to apply for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Injury Prevention Program. The program is designed to provide funding to public safety agencies in Georgia. DPH provides Dawson Fire/EMS with six convertible and four high-back booster child safety seats monthly to issue to citizens. The grant requires no county match.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett asked the Board to approve the annual contract with Deanna Specialty Transportation, Inc. to provide specialty transportation within the county. The company reimburses the county for senior client rides.

Commissioners also discussed the following board appointments/reappointments:  Tax Assessor Board, Jim Perdue; Department of Family and Children Services Board, Nancy Stites replacing Vickie Porter; Planning Commission John Dooley Chairman, Jason Hamby, John Maloney, Tim Bennett and Neil Hornsey.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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DCEMS, DCHS and KARE for Kids team up to provide bright Christmas for underprivileged children

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County emergency services personnel went above and beyond their normal life-saving call of duty Friday, by partnering with KARE for Kids and Dawson County High School’s Community Based Instruction (CBI) program for an annual shopping event that will brighten the Christmas holiday for underprivileged children.

The kids, excited and eager to begin their shopping spree met their sponsors at 10 a.m. inside Walmart before heading off in all directions.

“This event really allows us to focus on teaching the value of volunteering to assist our community,” said Chris Archer, Lieutenant of Fire Prevention.

Shopping with KARE for Kids also provides an opportunity for all three of these groups to continue to grow and to reach the community on multiple levels.

This is the second time Emergency Services and the CBI have teamed up for this event. Last Christmas KARE for Kids provided Christmas to 500 kids.

“Christmas shopping with these children allows us an opportunity to continue to give back to our community,” said Danny Thompson, Fire Chief at Dawson County Emergency Services.

Jeff Bailey, Division Chief Fire Marshal at Dawson County Emergency Services added, “The students in the CBI program are really committed to ensuring they are shopping for what the sponsored child wanted and this is a great opportunity for both of us to learn.”

Both Dawson County Emergency Services and Dawson County High School Community Based Instruction’s (CBI) commitment to this annual event with Kare for Kids is fueled by a desire to serve their community.

 

 

 

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Fire Station 8 volunteers a no-show at training submit their resignations instead

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Danny Thompson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – As of Thursday (Dec. 6), Dawson County Fire Station 8 which serves the Wildcat Community is unmanned.

A tense situation came to a head on Tuesday when the 13 volunteer firefighters who work there refused a directive from Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson to attend a mandatory training session.

Thursday morning, Thompson summoned Lt. John Tarantini — who supervises Station 8 – to a meeting. “It was my intention to demote him back to support staff for failure to follow an order and insubordination,” Thompson said. “He declined to sign the paperwork and instead tendered his resignation.”

Tarantini also brought with him the resignation of the 12 other volunteers who work at Station 8, which Thompson accepted. That effectively closes the station for now. Station 6 on Hubbard Road in Big Canoe is the closest manned fire station to the Wildcat Community which lies in both Dawson and Pickens counties.

County Manager David Headley warned Tarantini that failure to attend Tuesday’s training session could have serious consequences.

In an email sent Tuesday (Dec. 4) Headley wrote: “Chief Thompson has directed you and the volunteer staff to attend training (per his commitment to the citizens) conducted by Dawson County. Should you choose not to do so or direct the volunteer staff not to comply with the direction you have been provided, then I will move forward in making other arrangements.”

How long the station will remain closed is uncertain. In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Thompson said some volunteers had already called to ask if they could rescind their resignation. “I told them to get together and decide what they want to do as a group,” he said.

Fire Station 8 is operated under an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Pickens County that has been in effect since 2008. The IGA stipulates that Dawson County shall assume operation of the station and operate it as a substation of Dawson County Emergency Services. It also stipulates that Dawson County shall provide training, equipment and workers compensation insurance for the volunteer firefighters.

Under state law, volunteer firefighters are not allowed to engage in fire suppression activity (spraying water on the fire) until they receive their certification. The training Dawson County planned to provide would have helped them become certified.

“Be assured, that we will continue to keep our commitment to the citizens of Dawson County as we have always done,” Thompson said.

Tarantini was contacted for this article but declined to answer questions. However, in an email response, he wrote, “We are preparing an announcement to the communities concerning our decision to resign, why and what prompted that event, trust that I will copy you on that announcement.”

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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