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County, fire officials talk operations change

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POSTED: November 13, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Bryan County Fire Department officials met with several county commissioners Wednesday evening to discuss the future structure of the emergency services operations throughout the county.
The meeting, held at fire station seven on Hwy. 204 in Ellabell, was to address the position of emergency services director that was vacated by Jim Anderson in August, though issues regarding some chain of command matters were also aired.
Bill Collins with the Bryan County Drug Free Coalition has been volunteering as emergency services interim director since Anderson’s resignation. Though no decisions were made Wednesday, the commissioners wanted to find out what fire officials thought would suit the emergency service operations best.
“Before we do anything we need to hear from you folks as far as how this should be structured – what y’all see as far as needs and management,” commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said.
South Division Fire Chief Mike Smith said he’d gathered a general consensus that the structure used in the past did not work well and suggested trying something new.
“Our vision would be a fire chief, an EMS (emergency medical services) chief and an EMA (emergency management agency) director,” Smith said, adding it has been a growing trend across the state and country to separate EMA from fire service because the two organizations serve different purposes.
Read more in the Nov. 12 edition of the News.



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