Fire department offers essential aid to Towns residents

Community, News
aid

HIAWASSEE, Ga – Fire Chief Harold Copeland took a moment to inform the public that the fire department is available to any essential aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Not only is your fire department here for your med calls and fire emergencies, at a time like this during a pandemic, we’re here for your special needs as well,” said Copeland.

Stations are manned Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Copeland also gave out several numbers for citizens to call to reach the fire department if they need assistance. On the weekends and at night, people can call Station One at 706.896.2090 or call Copeland’s cell phone at 706.994.4934.

Copeland monitors the Station One voicemail and will get in touch with anyone who needs assistance. This applies to the gathering of any essentials for those in the community who can’t get out, such as groceries, prescriptions, or any type of aid. The department’s also delivering Meals on Wheels to the public.

Copeland became emotional when speaking about an individual who hadn’t eaten due to the inability to leave their home.

“If you’re home right now and you haven’t eaten today, call me. We’ll go through the drive-thru for you,” Copeland expressed. “We’re coming that’s what we do, that’s what everybody in this room does.”

The fire department will ask some COVID-19 screening questions in order to follow CDC guidelines. Those who respond to calls for meals, groceries, or medicine will place the goods on porches, carports, or vehicles.

“We’re here for you. The fire department’s here for you. The EMS is here for you. The same way y’all have been here for us over the years as a community whether it’s through your taxes or donations you’ve given,” stated Copeland.

“We want to take care of our citizens anyway we possibly can,” said Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw. “Thank you all for all that you’re doing we appreciate it very much and better days are just around the corner. We’re getting there.”

To find out more about COVID-19 testing at the Towns County Health Department, click here.

Towns County Fire & Rescue Incident Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County Fire Department

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Incident Report

2/19/20 -2/25/20

 

2/19/20

4 Medical Calls

2 Public Assist

2 Motor Vehicle Accidents

1 Chimney Fire

 

2/20/20

 1 Medical Call

1 Cancelled En Route

3 Fire Alarm

 

2/21/20

3 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

 

 2/22/20

2 Medical Call

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Controlled Burn

 

2/23/20

2 Medical Call

1 Assist Other

1 Controlled Burn

 

2/24/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Public Assist

 

2/25/20

6 Medical Calls

1 Landing Zone

Towns County Fire & Rescue Activity Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County fire department

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

2/12/20 – 2/18/20

 

2/12/20

3 Medical Calls

 

2/13/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1 False Alarm

 

2/14/20

6 Medical Calls

2 Landing Zones

 

2/15/20

5 Medical Call

3 Cancelled En Route

 

 

2/16/20

2 Medical Call

2 Landing Zones

 

2/17/20

3 Medical Calls

2 Assist Other

 

2/18/20

2 Medical Call

1 Public Assist

1 False Alarm

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Towns County Fire & Rescue Activity Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County Fire Department

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

2/5/20 – 2/11/20

 

2/5/20

3 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

2/6/20

2 Medical Calls

1 Motor Vehicle Accident

2/7/20

7 Medical Calls

1 Motor Vehicle Accident

1 Assist Other

1 False Alarm

2/8/20

7  Public Assist

2 Motor Vehicle Accidents

1 Medical Call

2 Cancelled En Route

1 False Call

2/9/20

4 Cancelled En Route

1 Medical Call

1 Controlled Burn

2/10/20

3 Medical Calls

3 Cancelled En Route

2/11/20

1 Medical Call

1 Public Assist

2 Cancelled En Route

 

Towns County Fire & Rescue Activity Report

Activity Report, News
Chief Harold Copeland

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

1/22/20 -1/28/20

 

1/22/20

1 Medical call

1 Brush Fire

1/23/20

6 Medical Calls

1 False Call

1 Controlled Burn

1/24/20

3 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1/25/20

1 Medical Call

1/26/20

3 Medical Calls

1/27/20

3 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1/28/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Motor Vehicle Accident

Devastated victim praises Towns County Fire & Rescue’s response

Featured, News
Towns County Fire REscuw

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Sunday afternoon’s bright, blue sky and unseasonably warm weather seemed to contradict the tragedy that occurred just 15-hours before in the peaceful village of Enchanted Valley RV Resort. FYN arrived at the park to take photographs of the aftermath of a structure fire that shamelessly destroyed three homes during the midnight hour of Feb. 2, unprepared to come face-to-face with the fire’s heartbroken victim.

Hiawasseee fire

Photo courtesy of Towns County Fire and Rescue

Click to read: Overnight fire destroys multiple homes in RV park

Mike Wages, an older gentleman who relocated to Towns County from the Gwinnett-area in 2002, sat alone in his pick-up truck, staring at what remained of his full-time home as he awaited the arrival of the American Red Cross. As Wages fought tears from his kind, blue eyes, the displaced homeowner offered details on the dreadful night before.

“I was asleep, had fallen asleep watching Westerns, and woke up around midnight to the smell of smoke. I was having trouble breathing…I was able to get out, but I lost everything I had. I have never felt such pain…This is all I have,” Wages said, pointing to a small heap of crumpled clothes beside him in the passenger seat.

Wages quickly regained his composure and turned the conversation to the first responders who battled the blaze. “I want the firefighters and paramedics to know how thankful I am. They did a wonderful job. It could have been so much worse.”

Enchanted Valley RV fire

Three homes were destroyed in the Feb. 2 blaze, two of which were unoccupied.

Several of Wages’ neighbors sat on a concrete bench in front of the charred structures, despondently gazing at what little remained, and likewise requested that FYN publicly extend their gratitude for Towns County Fire and Rescue’s skilled response. Firefighters arrived shortly after midnight to find the three homes engulfed in flames, quickly acting to extinguish the blaze and preventing wider spread damage to the tightly-quartered mobile homes.

Windy conditions lent to the escalation of the fire, Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland told FYN earlier in the day. “The firefighters did a tremendous job,” Copeland said. “They performed a quick knockdown, working the hot spots to avoid rekindling, and the fire was contained.” The fire was ruled accidental.

Wages said that he, fortunately, holds homeowner’s insurance and plans to rebuild.

Feature Image: What remains of Wages’ home.

Towns County Fire & Rescue Activity Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County Fire and Rescue

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

1/15/20 -1/21/20

 

1/15/20

2 Medical  Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 Public Assist

1/16/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Controlled Burn

1 Cancelled En Route

1/17/20

5 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

2 Landing Zones

1/18/20

7 Medical Calls

1 False Fire Alarm

1/19/20

5 Medical Calls

1 False Call

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Landing Zone

1/20/20

2 Cancelled En Route

1 Medical call

1 Elevator call

1False Fire Alarm

1/21/20

2 Medical Calls

1 False Call

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Former fire chief says 24-hour department eventually needed

News
David Sellers

UPDATED

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – David Sellers, a former fire chief with Towns County Fire & Rescue, presented the history of the local fire department this week at the Towns County Courthouse, wrapping up the discussion with closing words for the public.

“We have full-time firefighters in Young Harris and Hiawassee, and they’re there for the day, Monday through Friday,” Sellers said. “But then on the weekends and at nighttime, the firefighters have to get up out of their beds, get their clothes on, get in their car, get to the fire station, and get a truck out and hope that some other firefighters are going to show up – which they will. But what we need eventually is full-time firefighters, 24-hours every single day so that there’s somebody there to bring that truck out whether it’s rescue or fire. So let’s hope the county can work on that, and one day we’ll have that soon.”

Sellers served as a firefighter for the City of Young Harris in the 1980s, which later incorporated the City of Hiawassee through a mutual aid contract. Towns County Fire Department was formed in 1985 with Sellers appointed as chief by former Commissioner Truman Barrett. Present-day Fire Chief Harold Copeland initially served as Sellers’ assistant chief. Copeland attended the courthouse presentation.

Towns County Fire Rescue

Local firefighters, circa 1960.

Click to view Towns County Fire & Rescue Activity Reports

Towns County Fire and Rescue consists of six fire stations strategically located throughout the jurisdiction. Volunteer firefighters are primarily assigned to the station located nearest their residence, paid-on-call in the event of emergencies. Volunteer firefighters are registered with the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council and must complete a live-fire training requirement to become Registered Volunteer Firefighters.

 

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Towns County Fire & Rescue Activity Report

Activity Report, News
Chief Harold Copeland

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

1/8/20 – 1/14/20

 

1/8/20

1 Medical Call

1 Landing Zone

1 Structure Fire

1/9/20

7 Medical Calls

2 Public Assist

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Vehicle Fire

1 Controlled Burn

1/10/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Landing Zone

1/11/20

7 Medical Calls

11 Assist Other

1 False Alarm

1/12/20

1 Assist Other

1 Cancelled En Route

1/13/19

8 Medical Calls

1/14/20

1 Medical Call

1 Assist Other

1 Cancelled En Route

Towns County Fire & Rescue Incident Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County fire department

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

1/1/20 – 1/7/20

 

1/1/20

2 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1/2/20

2 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Assist Other

1/3/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1/4/20

3 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 False Alarm

 1/5/20

4 Medical Calls

1 Landing Zone

2 Cancelled En Route

1/6/19

4 Medical Calls

2 Landing Zone

1 Assist Other

1/7/20

1 Medical Call

1 Landing Zone

1 Public Assist

Towns County Fire & Rescue Incident report

Activity Report, News
Towns County Fire and Rescue

Towns County Fire Rescue

Weekly Report

12/18/19-12/24/19

 

12/18/19

2 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

12/19/19

2 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

1 False Call

12/20/19

3 Medical Calls

2 Landing Zones

12/21/19

4 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 Landing Zone

12/22/19

No Calls

 12/23/19

4 Medical Calls

1 Motor Vehicle Accident

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Landing Zone

12/24/19

5 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 False Call

Towns County Fire & Rescue Incident Report

Activity Report, News
Chief Harold Copeland

Towns County Fire Rescue

Weekly Report

12/11/19 – 12/17/19

12/11/19

3 Medical Calls

1 Public Assist

1 Landing Zone

1 Cancelled En Route

12/12/19

3 Medical Calls

12/13/19

4 Medical Calls

2 Smoke Investigations

12/14/19

4 Medical Calls

3 Landing Zones

1 Smoke Investigation

12/15/19

7 Medical Calls

1 Landing Zone

1 Cancelled En Route

1 Assist Other

12/16/19

6 Medical Calls

1 Structure Fire

12/17/19

3 Medical Calls

1 Fire Alarm

1 Electrical Fire

Towns County Fire and Rescue Incident Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County Fire and Rescue

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

12/4/19 -12/10/19

 

12/4/19

5 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

12/5/19

6 Medical Calls

3 Cancelled En Route

1 False Alarm

12/6/19

7 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

12/7/19

5 Medical Calls

12/8/19

2 Medical Calls

12/9/19

2 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

12/10/19

1 Medical Call

2 Cancelled En Route

Towns County Fire & Rescue Incident Report

Activity Report, News
Towns County fire department

Towns County Fire & Rescue

Weekly Report

11/27/19 – 12/4/19

11/27/19

4 Medical Calls

1 Cancelled En Route

11/28/19

6 Medical Calls

3 Landing Zones

1 Illegal Burn

11/29/19

4 Medical Calls

2 Landing Zones

11/30/19

5 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 Public Assist

12/1/19

3 Cancelled En Route

2 Medical Calls

1 Landing Zone

12/2/19

3 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En route

12/3/19

5 Medical Calls

2 Controlled Burns

Fire Department signs agreement with Georgia Forestry Commission

News
Towns fire

HIAWASSEE, GA. – Towns County Fire and Rescue entered into an annual agreement with the Georgia Forestry Commission last week during a special-called meeting at the county courthouse. Each agency mutually agreed to provide support for fire prevention programs which will increase the public awareness of the hazards and destruction of fire and serve to make the objectives of the memorandum possible.

The Georgia Forestry Commission will dispatch a crew to any known forest, brush, or grass fire, or to any fires of unknown nature. The commission will cooperate with the county emergency structure by responding to wildland fires as dispatched. Towns County Fire & Rescue will additionally dispatch a crew to any known structure fire, wildland fire, or any fire of unknown nature. Upon arrival at the scene, the Georgia Forestry Commission will provide command and control for wildland fire suppression and will coordinate with Towns County Fire & Rescue for protection of life and property threatened by a wildland fire. The state agency will immediately advise the county department of any burning or threatened structure within the area.

Fire

Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland

Towns County Fire & Rescue will provide command and control for structural fire suppression and will cooperate with the Georgia Forestry Commission for protection of life and property threatened by structural fires. The fire department will immediately advise the state division of any burning or threatened natural cover fuels within the area and request and/or provide assistance as needed. This agreement in no way restricts either agency from taking action in an emergency situation to save lives and property regardless of the nature of a fire, either wildland or structural.

When both agencies are at the same fire, overall command and control of the incident shall lie with the agency concerned most directly with what is burning. If both woods and structures are on fire simultaneously, each agency shall endeavor to initiate unified command and provide support to each other to ensure shared resources are used effectively, public and firefighter safety, and efficient incident stability. All fire organizations involved should endeavor to accomplish wildland fire certifications and provide wildland fire personal protective equipment for firefighters who are subject to respond to wildland fires. Only the Georgia Forestry Commission can authorize the use of backfires. The intended use of state personnel and equipment is to provide protection/suppression relative only to wildland fires; i.e. grass, forested lands, brush, and trees. State fire personnel are not trained, nor do they possess sufficient personal protective equipment to allow them to function in environments other than those listed above.

Each agency agreed to attend, participate, and assist in the other agency’s training program. The authority having jurisdiction will be responsible to ensure that all persons participating in training and wildland or structural fire suppression activities meet established qualifications and are properly equipped 

Towns County Fire & Rescue Incident Report

Activity Report, News
Chief Harold Copeland
Towns County Fire Rescue

Weekly Report

10/16/19 -10/22/19

 

 

10/16/19

4 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 Motor Vehicle Accident

 

10/17/19

5 Medical Calls

2 Motor Vehicle Accidents

2 Cancelled En Route

1 Structure Fire

1 Public Assist

1 Landing Zone

 

 10/18/19

3 Medical Calls

3 Assist Other

1 Motor Vehicle Accident

1 Cancelled En Route

 

10/19/19

1 Structure Fire

2 Medical Calls

3 Cancelled En Route

1 Assist Other

 

10/20/19

6 Medical Calls

4 Cancelled En Route

 

10/21/19

4 Medical Calls

3 Cancelled En Route

1 False Fire Alarm

1 Landing Zone

 

 10/22/19

5 Medical Calls

2 Cancelled En Route

1 False Call

1 Landing Zone

 

 

Feature Image: Towns County Fire Chief Harold Copeland

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