Public Meeting on Thomas County Fire Department

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"I'm a volunteer and I give my life, my family's time and my time to support the fire department of Thomas County and what we're asking for," commented one man at the meeting.

Emotions ran high at a public meeting addressing residents’ concerns surrounding the Thomas County Fire Department. The county department is set to take over fire zones one and two beginning January 1st 2008.

Chris Jones, the County Fire Chief, commented on the split, "We already have a plan laid out, a time schedule, a timeline that we will be working on. We look to move forward with that plan unless something changes."

Jones has hired a consultant to help address several issues including fire tax increases, duplication of services and growing pains.

Skip Starling is that consultant hired. He commented on the issue of duplication of services.

"All this is going to do in 2008 is remove the city from being able to be the first responders from zone one and now making the county first responders for zone one, so there is no duplication."

Many residents say they are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. Charles Anderson was fire chief for ten years and says he believes the changes are coming from some bad blood between the city and the county.

"Let us vote on something, you know. Don't push this on us, because we don't want it, and they're pushing it on us. I wish we'd have some sort of say so in what we're getting," commented Anderson.

With the public meeting acting as that forum, now county commissioners must decide whether to proceed with their plans.