By Kate Gaier
5:15 pm January 2, 2007
The city department is under contract to provide fire protection for certain areas outside of the city limits, but the county will terminate that contract when it runs out at the end of this year.
City firefighters are now responsible for a 50 square mile area, but with the change that area of protection will be reduced to 15 square miles.
Steve Sykes, Thomasville City Manager, said, "It doesn't make sense to duplicate that service and try to take additional taxpayers’ dollars to buy something we already own as a community."
Chris Jones, County Fire Chief, added, "We do feel like we could provide the same level of service, if not a better level of service, utilizing some equipment that we have that the city doesn't have."
The county currently has 21 people on staff and 100 volunteers. It will need to hire 18 more employees in order to be ready for the switch January 1 next year.