The Bryan County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the dedication of the new, soon to open Station 4 in the name of J.C. Tucker, founder of first Blitchton Volunteer Fire Department.Jim Anderson, EMS director, said the move of Station 4 from Blitchton to the industrial park is in its final stages
"While this is a fantastic move for the fire service, I would like to mention that Station 4 was originally the home of the Blitchton Volunteer Fire Department, which was formed in the late 1960’s by J. C. Tucker and members of the Blitchton Community following the complete destruction of a local business. At the time of this fire there was not an organized fire department in the area," Anderson said.
"Although the fire department was not established until the late 1960’s, Mr. Tucker was serving his community and this county by responding to rescue calls in his wrecker, beginning in 1953. Mr. Tucker would use the winch on the wrecker and other tools to remove doors and vehicle parts so that victims could be extricated from the wreckage. Mr. Tucker has continued to serve his community since that time," he said.
Commissioner Blondean Newman said it would be an honor to name it after Tucker.
"I’ve known Mr. Tucker all my life and he has always been a hard working man from a hard working family. There was always a lot going on out there [at the station] and he was always at the head of it. I understand he still checks the place at Blitchton every night to see if it’s locked up."
Anderson said Tucker completed the Georgia Fire Academy Basic Firefighters course in 1983 at the age of 58, and at his current age of 83 continues to serve his community by continuing to respond to calls with enthusiasm and dedication.
"He is consistently the first one out the door and the first one to respond, whether it’s two in the morning or two in the afternoon," Anderson said.
The Board of Commissioners agreed that the dedication of Station 4 as the J.C. Tucker Fire House was fitting.
In other Board business,
The Board unanimously voted to reject all bids proposed for the construction of the new county administration building due to the nature of the cost.
The County budgeted around half a million for the project, but the lowest bid, by Choate Construction came in over $900,000.
Board Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said the dollar amounts of the bids caught the commission by surprise.
"We felt like it was a good market to put the bids out in, but they did come in a good bit higher than we anticipated. To get the best price, I think we have to look at it again and we’ve got to rebid it from the standpoint that it is taxpayer dollars paying for it, and not private enterprise where we can sit around and make those kinds of decisions," Burnsed said.
Commissioner Rick Gardner said he felt the group of people who bid on the complex was extremely high quality and was pleased with them overall.
"The unfortunate aspect, as the chairman pointed out, is that [the low bid] really is so far over budget that we need to go back and look at we requested," Gardner said.