Chief Danny Thompson welcomes 11 C.E.R.T. graduates

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Chief Danny Thompson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Eleven Dawson County citizens willing to step forward to render aid to their neighbors during times of a disaster graduated from Community Emergency Response Training Tuesday evening.

Amy Crane, Chris Dewalt, Brittni Faulkenburg, Stephanie Fedoruk, William Goode, Ryan Jacobs, Alex Kinney, April Ketels, Dave Lenhardt, Mike Maciolek and Irene Voyles were honored in a graduation ceremony at Fire Station 2.

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson addressed the graduates saying:

“We really hope we never have to use the C.E.R.T. team. It’s really one of those things you hope to teach, hope to prepare as a community but never have that natural disaster that requires us to rely upon our citizens to help us.

But here in emergency services, we 14 people every day so you take a simple tornado that touches down in a neighborhood and our resources are taxed at that moment. So we need to be self-sustaining. To be able to be self-sustaining, we need to rely on the citizens to be that transport element. You may be transporting sick or injured people that we just can’t get to. You may be effective going in and rescuing people, using these skills you have learned.

“You’ve shown an initiative to come in , participate over many weeks of classroom training to give back to your community and this is just a way for us in Emergency Services and the Fire Department to say thank you.”

C.E.R.T. Trainer Charley Hobgood encouraged graduates to “take the training you received back to your family. You’re going to make your families more strong, more prepared for whatever can go wrong, whatever disaster can happen. Share it with everybody you know in your community. Go to your HOAs, your churches. Work wherever you can to help other people get ready.”

 

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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County officials break ground for Fire Station 8

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PRESS RELEASE

Representatives from the architecture firm Clark Patterson Lee, general contractor CT Darnell, Dawson County Emergency Services, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners and Dawson County Administration gathered at the site of the future Dawson County Fire Station 8 to hold an official “Ground Breaking” ceremony. The site is on Sweetwater-Juno Road near the intersection of Reagan Rd.

Fire Chief Danny Thompson welcomed all in attendance and spoke of the importance of the new station. He explained how response times and insurance ratings will be greatly reduced with the addition of the new station. Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond also addressed the crowd. He stated that this station will bring a level of emergency response to this area of county that most of the rest of the county has been accustomed to for years.

Due to parking constraints the “Ground Breaking” ceremony was not open to the public. However, Chief Thompson stresses that once the new building is complete the public will be welcome to attend a “Grand Opening” ceremony and tour the community’s newest public safety facility.

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Commissioners meet Thursday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners have another busy schedule Thursday with the work session at 4 p.m., followed by a voting session at 6 p.m.

During the work session, commissioners will hear a request from Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lumpkin County concerning Emergency Radio use.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett will present addendum number 1 for the FY 2020 Legacy Link Contract for Nutrition Program Services.

Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk will ask the Board to consider a replacement for her department’s copier.

Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley will present a discussion of impact fees.

County Clerk Kristen Cloud will give a presentation of the Board of Commissioners meeting schedule.

Commissioners will consider the reappointment of Nancy Stites to the Department of Family and Children Services Board.

Board Chairman will present the proposed FY 2020 budget for discussion.

During the 6 p.m. voting session, commissioners will present a certificate of recognition to Boy Scout Troop 422 and Blake Wood for their Eagle Scout project.

Development Authority Chairman Brian Trapnell will give an update on the Development Authority activity.

There will be several rezoning requests for the Board to rule on.Jan Butterworth has requested the rezoning of 10.3 acres located at Holcomb Road from RA (Residential Agriculture) to RSR (Residential Sub-Rural). The purpose is to subdivide the land in order to gift 4 acres to her child.

Jim King on behalf of Charles Turner request has requested the rezoning of TMP 107-319-007 from CPCD (Commercial Planned Community Development) to CHB (Commercial Highway Business).

The law firm of Miles, Hansford and Tallant, LLC has requested the rezoning of property located at the northeast intersection of Price Road and Toto Creek Park Road from RSR (Residential Sub-Rural) and CHB (Commercial Highway Business) to CHB (Commercial Highway ) for the purpose of construction of a boat, RV and vehicle storage facility.

Commissioners will also hold the first and only public hearing on a proposed county vape shop ordinance.

The Board will get an update on the Land Use Resolution Fee Schedule that was tabled at the Sept. 5 meeting.

 The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority has extended service on several secondary roads in Dawson County — Herman Sosebee, Overlook Circle and Cleve Wright Road. Due to the reconfiguration of the Highway 9 and Dawson Forest Road project, a hydrant will be placed between the two roundabouts. There will be a line upgrade to 12 inch going from Perimeter Road to Highway 9 South and terminating in front of the new subdivision.

Thompson will ask commissioners for funding in the amount of $27,092 for the proposed addition of eight new fire hydrants in the above listed service delivery areas.

 

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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UPDATE: Hwy. 53 remains closed after explosives truck overturns

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – At a morning press conference, Dawson County Fire Chief and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson minimized the danger to the public after an explosives truck owned by Austin Powder Company overturned spilling ammonium nitrate onto Dawsonville Highway near Sundown Way.

Two people suffered minor injuries and were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for treatment. Two others who also suffered minor injuries declined transport.

Thompson said about five-gallons of ammonium nitrated was spilled and was quickly contained without any leaking into nearby Lake Lanier.

Thompson said, “When units from Fire Station 2 arrived on scene at about 5:20 a.m., they determined they were dealing with a petroleum ammonium nitrate product and they called for the necessary remediation companies.”

Thompson said ammonium nitrate is used as an explosive in mining rock quarries but it requires the presence of other elements to detonate it. “It typically requires a one-pound cast booster blasting cap,”  he said. “The companies drill a hole and pack this petroleum-based product into it then apply the one-pound cast booster blasting cap to be able to detonate it. It is a very safe product since it requires various elements for it to become an explosive product. There are no blasting caps on the scene so it is safe in its capacity as is stands right now.”

The incident closed Hwy. 53 between Blue Ridge Overlook and Sundown Way. Thompson said the road will likely remain closed until late afternoon.

A “shelter in place” was issued for Sundown subdivision which is located less than 500 feet from the accident site.

Georgia State Patrol is investigating the accident.

 

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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Victim, suspect in shooting at fire station 7 are identified

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – At a morning press conference today (July 30), Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson identified the victim of last night’s shooting as Amy Alexandria Gibson, 44, of Dawsonville. Gibson was shot by her estranged husband Jeremy Wade Gibson in front of Dawson County Fire Station No. 7 on Dawson Forest Road.

Johnson said the victim made a rather “frantic” call to 911 at approximately 7:36 p.m. before the line went blank.

Jeremy Gibson (left) has been identified as the person who shot his wife Amy Alexandria Gibson Monday.

Gibson was fleeing from her husband and apparently drove to the fire station seeking a safe haven. Her husband reportedly followed her in a second vehicle and before she could exit the vehicle, she was shot several times and died at the scene. Her two children, ages 8 and 5 were in her vehicle at the time, but were unharmed.

After the shooting, Jeremy Gibson surrendered to firefighters who held him until deputies arrived and took him into custody.

Johnson said there has been a “lengthy” history of domestic violence between the couple, but he declined to provide details.

Fire and Emergency Services Chief Danny Thompson said one firefighter and his family witnessed the shooting.

“One of the firefighters was confronted by a female that requested help. He just assumed like many people who arrive at a fire station to report a fire or medical emergency. He stepped back to notify his partner then stepped back out when the shooting occurred.”

Thompson declined to name the firefighter who witnessed the shooting out of respect for him and his family. “We want to make sure they get the necessary mental help to take care of them. Even though we’re professionals, it is still a tragic event. It even weighs heavy on the seasoned veterans.”

Thompson said the firefighter, his wife, their two children, ages 1 and 3 actually witnessed the shooting. He also pointed out that their lives were in immediate danger. “Front and center in a matter of seconds, it was their lives, his family’s lives they were looking after. They took the necessary actions and precautions to do exactly that.”

The victim’s children were turned over to the Department of Family and Children’s Services.

District Attorney Lee Darragh said his office will proceed with the appropriate warrants soon.

“Certainly there will be a murder charge, some firearms charges, cruelty to children because of the witnessing of this event by the children.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was involved in processing the crime scene.

 

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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Firefighters, EMTs, Paramedics get well-deserved pay raise

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved a 5 percent pay raise for the county’s firefighter/EMTs and a 10 percent pay hike for firefighter/paramedics during Tuesday’s voting session

Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson told commissioners at last month’s work session Emergency Services maintains an attrition rate of personnel at over 11 percent or seven percent above the national average of fire departments across the country.

The county has lost 12 EMS personnel to other fire departments or hospitals and, following 52 weeks of advertising, received less than six firefighter/paramedics applications. Two of those were hired, two declined an offer and two could not pass the background check.

Commissioners also gratefully accepted a $10,000 donation from Brooke Anderson on behalf of the Etowah Sewer and Water Company toward construction of the new Senior Center.

The Board also approved:

An alcohol license transfer for retail consumption on premises of beer and wine to Point Bluff, LLC;

A special event business license for Carol Stream Amusements, Inc.

A special event business license for North Georgia Premium Outlets Food Truck Events;

Conditionally, a special event business license for Papa Pat’s Corn Maze with the stipulation the business complete the rezoning process;

Contracting for a salary study for Dawson County employees;

A settlement agreement with ALA Riley Place, LLC regarding a stop-work order;

A transportation grant for the Senior Center.

 

 

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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Firefighters battle blaze on Bannister Road

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Press Release

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Fire & Emergency Services (DCFES) responded to a reported structure fire at 85 Bannister Rd. Crews at approximately 5:43 a.m. today where they battled blistering summertime heat and arrived to find a two story, 2000 sq/ft structure with heavy fire showing.

Personnel deployed multiple handlines and began an interior attack on the fire. Several vehicles and lawn equipment were involved in the fire.

Crews from Forsyth County responded and provided assistance due to the extreme temperature. The homeowner advised crews that all occupants had exited the building prior to fire department arrival. No injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported on this scene.

“We are very glad there were no injuries from the fire or due to the heat,” stated Chief Thompson.

This incident is being investigated by Dawson County Fire Marshal’s office. The cause is still under investigation but appears to have started in a lawn mower. The structure has been turned over to the homeowner.

Photos were taken by Dawson County Fire & EMS.

For more information, please contact Chief Danny Thompson 678-410-1738

 

 

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 County EMS staffing reaches crisis stage

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson made a heartfelt and emotional plea for a pay raise on behalf of the men and women of his department during Thursday’s Board of Commissioners work session.

Thompson said the attrition rate in emergency services is nearing a “crisis situation” with 11 percent of the employees leaving to work at other fire departments or to go into the private sector. “That is two-and-a-half times the national average, he said.

“In exit interviews, we’ve learned that a lot of them love working in Dawson County. The big reason for the exodus is money. Right now, there are 11 fire departments within 30 miles of this county that pay between $10,000 and $16,000 more.”

Thompson presented three options to commissioners for a potential salary increase.

When asked by Commissioner Sharon Fausett which option worked best for his department, he answered Option A – a 10 percent across-the-board increase for all personnel.

Dozens of firefighters/EMTs sat in the audience as Thompson spoke

“These men and women sitting back here tonight love this county. They love its residents. They’re willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. But, I need your help,” he said.

“Bottom line is I need you to stand up for these men and women. Don’t turn your back on them because tonight, if you need them, they’re going to be there for you no matter what decision you make. I’m troubled as you can tell. I’m tired of looking at these men and women knowing they’re living paycheck to paycheck. It’s sad and it’s got to stop. It starts with you guys.”

While Thompson said the situation is nearing the crisis state, Chairman Billy Thurmond, who used to manage the same department said, “I can tell you, having run this department that 11 vacancies is a crisis today. That is not a crisis tomorrow.”

Agenda items discussed during work sessions are generally voted on at the next regular 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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