RC&D Director Frank Riley recognized at National Fire Prevention Week Proclaimation

Frank Riley fire

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw officially proclaimed Oct. 7-13 National Fire Prevention Week in Towns County, while honoring Resource Conservation and Development (RC & D) Council Executive Director Frank Riley during a surprise ceremony. Numerous county and city officials were invited, as well as rangers from the U.S. Forest Service and Georgia Forestry Commission. Commissioner Bradshaw expressed sincere appreciation for Riley’s service while presenting an award. “That’s how much you mean to me, and how much you mean to the community,” Bradshaw said.

Towns County Fire and Rescue

Fire Prevention Week stresses the importance of installing smoke detectors in homes, along with insuring residents have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan. In 2016, 2735 people perished due to home fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and fire departments responded to 352,000 home fires, with 4-out-of-5 fire deaths occuring within homes each year.

Frank Riley was presented an award of recognition by Commissioner Bradshaw following the signing of the fire prevention week proclamation, acknowledging Riley’s service and dedication to Towns County. “That’s how much you mean to me, and how much you mean to the community,” Bradshaw expressed.

Among achievements, Riley established Towns County as the first Fire Adaptive Community to receive statewide and national attention, humbly served as a Towns County volunteer firefighter since 1999, and as a highly-respected FireWise and Fire Corps leader.

“Frank’s expertise and drive, along with being able to identify and connect the right groups together, has been the spark that has enabled FireWise to take hold in Georgia, and help start it to adjoining Appalachian states,” Tony Harkins, Chief Ranger-Safety Officer with the Georgia Forestry Commission, explained in part, “With his involvements in Chattahoochee RC&D, (as a) volunteer firefighter, farming, and with the farmers’ markets, I personally can’t see where he finds the time to do all of these endeavors. He wears more hats than anyone I know, and is successful in all jobs.”

U.S. Forest Fire Management Officer Mike Davis echoed the sentiment, “Frank has always supported the greater good. In 2015, when we were conducting a presentation about our efforts in Towns County to out regional forester out of Atlanta, we were asked could we duplicate these efforts up the Appalachian chain to other wildland urban interface communities. We knew it would be a challenge, and one that Frank would have to take the lead on, but he rolled up his sleeves and said ‘let’s do it.’ Since that time he has traveled and met with various government officials from Atlanta to Washington D.C. to promote the success in Towns County and beyond. Frank does all of this not looking to promote himself or for accolades, but to seek support for what we do here in this region.”

Riley’s wife, Linda, was in attendance at the Friday, Oct. 12, proclaimation. “You couldn’t drag Frank from Towns County,” Linda Riley shared, “He loves this community and its people.”


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