Dawson County firefighters roll to save annual Easter Egg hunt

News

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Firefighters are known for saving lives. Tomorrow they hope to save what would – under normal circumstances – be the community Easter Egg hunt and to put smiles on the faces of children all across the county.

When Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson learned the annual event was being cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, he and his staff went to work to see what they could do bring a little joy back into the community.

EMS Director Danny Thompson

Working with Kids Are Really Equal and the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, they came up with a plan for an Easter Egg Toss. The event will take place tomorrow (Apr. 11) From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., firefighters wearing personal protective gear and mounted on fire trucks will toss Easter Egg bags in many Dawson County neighborhoods.

“I kept hearing how different Easter would be this year with no community Easter Egg hunt,” Thompson said. “So I got with staff on and we talked about what we could do to put something positive back into the community.”

Thompson added that this all came together in the last two days. “We first met on Wednesday and we got the circular out on Thursday,” he said.

It would be impossible for firefighters to go into every Dawson County community due to the limited number of fire trucks so, in addition to the neighborhoods they will visit, they selected two alternative sites where families can go to receive their Easter Egg bags.

Firefighters will visit the following neighborhoods at the stated times:

10 a.m. — Rainhall, Mensie Park, Biscayne, Deer Run and Bethany Trace.

11 a.m. — Redhawk, Oakmont, Highland Point, Amicalola Chase and Dawson Junction.

12 noon — Dawson Forest Apartments, Oak Forest and Blacksmill.

Families with children who do not live in neighborhoods can participate by visiting Fausett Farms (11336 Hwy. 136 West) or Fire Station 1 (393 Memory Lane) between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. All participants must remain in their vehicles.

While some may question the risk factor, Thompson said it is no different to picking up food at a drive through and it will give families something to smile about for a change.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Search for missing hiker enters third day

News

Eddie Noonkester

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — A multi-agency search for a North Carolina man reported missing during what was to have been a through hike along the Appalachian Trail entered a third day Tuesday.

Dawson County Public Safety Director Danny Thompson said during a morning press that Eddie Noonkester, 60, was reported missing Sunday morning. He is described as 5-feet, 10 inches tall and approximately 200 pounds with gray hair and a gray goatee. At approximately 11:30 a.m. Noonkester spoke to a Dawson County a 911 operator who said the man appeared “confused” and could not identify his location.

“On Monday, searchers found some of the man’s personal belongings. Last night, we focused with K-9 a search of that area throughout the evening and into the early morning hours,” Thompson said.

“Today we called in assistance from numerous law enforcement agencies. The DNR, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, Parks Service staff and numerous fire departments from Gilmer, Fannin, Union are all represented here today.”

The National Forest Service pinged the man’s cell phone and today’s search is focused on that area but there have been no further pings and it appears the cell phone battery is dead.

The area being searched today is from the approach trail down High Shoals Road which leads to Len Foote Hike Inn and the Len Foote Trail back down to the visitors’ center and the falls.

Thompson described the area that is being searched is “very, very treacherous.”

Heavy downpours can be expected in the area the next 72 hours as well as the possibility of winter weather moving in.

“We will continue the push for Eddie in hopes of a positive outcome,” Thompson said.

Thompson said an email has been set up for anyone who would like volunteer to join the search. If you would like to volunteer, email dcsar@dawsoncounty.org Please leave a phone number, your availability, and hiking level of experience.

If anyone has seen Noonkester, you are asked to contact the Dawson County 911.

 

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

 

Hiker reported missing on Appalachian Trail

News

 

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Dawson County Emergency Services will hold a 10:30 a.m. press conference today (Feb. 18) to update the public on the search for Eddie Noonkester.

Noonkester was reported missing after he began a hike on the Appalachian Trail Friday. Family members say Noonkester called them on Sunday morning and appeared to be confused. They convinced him to call 9-1-1 but emergency officials were unable to find him, despite attempts to track his cell phone. Emergency Services confirms that it did appear he had become disoriented and may be suffering from a medical emergency.

Dawson County Emergency Services posted that they may have found his gear and are narrowing the search. It is believed that he is on or near the AT approach trail somewhere in Dawson County, however it is also possible that he has wandered off the trail and surrounding National Forest or Park property. Anyone with information is asked to please call 9-1-1.

Jeff Bailey appointed Deputy State Fire Marshall

News

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — On February 4, 2020 Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King deputized local fire marshals at the Georgia State Capitol. Among those deputized was Division Chief/Fire Marshal Jeff Bailey of Dawson County Emergency Services.

Each Local State Fire Marshal must be qualified as a state certified Inspector or investigator and meet all in-service training requirements to be selected as a Deputy Local State Fire Marshal.

Being a Deputy State Fire Marshal allows Bailey to perform state inspections of local businesses that normally fall to the state fire marshal’s office to perform.

Chief Bailey has been with Dawson County Emergency Services since 2003 and served as the Division Chief/Fire Marshal since August of 2018.

Photo credit: Brandon Wright, Communications Director Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner

Dawson County salutes veterans on Veterans Day

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Veterans Administration Office honored veterans and active duty military personnel Monday and they included the county’s fire department and emergency personnel in the festivities.

The all-day event started with a luncheon at Dawson County Junior High. Lunch was served courtesy of the Etowah Water and Sewer Authority.

A large parade led by the Dawson County High School Tigers Pride Marching Band moved out from the junior high at 3 p.m. and proceeded down an American-flag lined Hwy. 9. Ninth District American Legion Commander Thomas Hineline served as Grand Marshal.

U.S. Navy veteran Don Roberson was honored as Veteran of the Year and Marine Corps veteran Ben Overstreet was honored for his service to our nation during World War II.

Other groups who marched or rode to honor veterans included Dawson County High School JROTC and Girl Scout Troop 10618.

 

 

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

Dawson County firefighters battle early morning workshop blaze

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Emergency Services responded to a structure fire at 1336 Hanging Dog Road just after 2:30 a.m.today (Sept. 24). Arriving units found an approximately 2,500 square-foot workshop with flames through the roof.

Crews had the fire under control in about an hour. The shop and its contents were a total loss, including multiple recreational vehicles inside, and a work truck parked next to the structure.

Forsyth County Fire Department assisted in battling the blaze by providing an engine crew and a water tender. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. No injuries reported.

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

County officials break ground for Fire Station 8

News

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.

Four-vehicle accident reported on Ga. Hwy 53 Tuesday morning

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A four-vehicle accident that involves an overturned truck carrying 10,000 pounds of dynamite on Ga. Hwy. 53 near Sundown Way has closed Hwy. 53 in both directions this morning (Sept. 10). The accident occurred east of Ga. 400.

Georgia State Patrol, Dawson County Emergency Services the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office are on the scene and motorists are asked to avoid the area. Units from HAZMAT are also on the scene to clean up an oil spill.

Hwy. 53 is closed in both directions between Blue Ridge Overlook and Dawson Forest Road,

Fetch Your News will have more information as it becomes available.

Dawson County EMS staffing reaches crisis stage

News

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five people injured in Dawson County wreck Thursday

News

 

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

Dawson firefighters respond to back-to-back fires Friday

News

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:     Danny Thompson 678-410-1738                             January 25, 2018

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Fire units responded to back to back structure fires on Friday (Jan. 25).

The first structure fire dispatched at 2:27 p.m. was located at 92 Dogwood Way. Dawson County E911 received multiple reports of this fire while units were enroute. Engine 3 arrived on scene to find a single-family dwelling with heavy smoke and flames showing.

Crews initiated an aggressive interior attack to knock down the fire. Multiple hand lines were used until the fire was under control at 3:26. Personnel continued to hit hot spots for several hours and assisted the homeowners with salvaging belongings. Crews continued to check for hot spots throughout the evening to ensure no rekindle.

The second fire was dispatched shortly after units cleared the previous fire. Dawson County E911 received a reported house fire at 6:14 p.m., located at 207 Sundown Way. On arrival, Dawson County Emergency Services units encountered a single-family dwelling with heavy fire showing. Crews initiated and aggressive attack and was able to contain the fire to the chimney.

Both fires are under investigation, but appear to be accidental in nature. There were no injuries to any firefighters or civilians at either fire.

Photo credits Dawson County Fire

 

Officials say resignation of volunteers won’t affect ISO or fire protection for Wildcat Community

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County officials issued the following press release Monday:

“Dawson County Emergency Services continues to provide fire and medical coverage to the Wildcat Community. The agency stands ready and is prepared to serve this community. In no way do the recent resignations of Station 8 volunteer support personnel members affect the ISO rating for this community, nor does it decrease the level of service provided. Measures have been put in place to ensure adequate service now and into the future.

“Dawson County Emergency Services continues to work closely with Pickens County, and both departments demonstrated this commitment over the weekend during the winter weather event. Additionally, Dawson County officials are working together to ensure the continued safety of both residents and visitors.

“Over the past few weeks, there has been much said regarding the future of Station 8,” said Dawson County Manager David Headley. “I want to affirm with the residents of the Wildcat Community that Dawson County will honor its commitment to them by not abandoning the services outlined in our agreement.

“Steps are being taken to enhance the level of service, and we look forward to working alongside the residents of the Wildcat Community as well as Pickens County moving ahead.”

 

 

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

 

 

Dawson County Board of Education moving forward with new College & Career Academy

Dawson County High School, News

DAWSON CO., GA

Dawson County Board of Education approved the maximum price for the Dawson County College & Career Academy during September 4 work session.

Dawson County College & Career Academy coming to Dawson County August 2019

Superintendent, Dr. Damon Gibbs, recommended the project, and the total cost of the project will not exceed roughly $7 million. The new 35,000 square feet, two-story facility will be located on Perimeter Road and will house the most advanced student-learning labs, for students participating in dual enrollment. According to Gibbs, the facility will feature “classrooms of the future.”

The Board entered an agreement with construction manager, Carroll Daniel Construction, with ESPLOST as the funding source.

A ground-breaking ceremony is to be held on Monday September 10, at 5pm, and the public is encouraged to attend. The estimated completion date is August 2019.

Owner of vehicle submerged in Lake Lanier remains a mystery

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County officials are withholding the name of the person who owns a 2009 silver Toyota Tacoma found submerged in Lake Lanier Tuesday (Feb. 26). Emergency personnel removed the vehicle  but found no victims.

Workers on the lake discovered the vehicle and called 911.

Dawson County Emergency Services received the call at 11:04 a.m. and Engine 2 arrived on scene at 11:11 a.m. Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, Hall County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and officers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also responded.

DNR performed side sonar scans with negative findings. Hall County’s dive team performed an area grid search with no findings. Dawson County Fire Department will conduct shore line sweeps of the area once a day for the next seven days.

This incident is being investigated by Dawson County Sheriff’s Office. The cause is undetermined pending further investigation.

(Photos were taken by Laura Fulcher, Dawson County Public Relations).

No injuries reported as tractor trailer overturns on Hwy. 53

News

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

Dawsonville woman who died in Sunday fire identified

News

 

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson has identified the woman who died in a mobile home fire Sunday as 64-year-old Carol Smith of Dawsonville.

Dawson County Emergency Services responded to the fire just before 1 a.m. at 15 Gal-a-gina Drive where they discovered a single-wide trailer on fire. Med 1 entered the structure operating in rescue mode and located Smith’s body.

The incident is being investigated by Georgia State Fire Marshall’s office, Dawson County Fire Marshall’s and Dawson County Sheriff’s Department. The cause of the fire is undetermined but is believed to be accidental.

Thompson would like to remind everyone to change the batteries in smoke detectors on November 4, when Daylight Savings Time begins.

Smoke detectors are available at fire headquarters. There is no charge for anyone needing financial assistance.

 

 

 

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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