Barrow County Fire and Emergency Services interim chief John Skinner said he, along with other emergency services personnel, have been overwhelmed by the support shown to the department over the past few weeks.
“We are all humbled by this support and are very thankful to everyone that has come out in support of our men and women,” Skinner said. “This support came from so many that we have no doubt at all about how much our services are valued in Barrow County.”
After it was made public that county commission chairman Danny Yearwood had proposed closing a fire station and reducing the Sheriff’s Office budget in order to deal with the county’s budget crisis, citizens immediately began voicing opposition to the plan.
“We are very thankful to all the citizens that made phone calls as well as the ones that stopped by stations to show their support of us,” Skinner said. “It was a very large outpouring of support that we will be forever thankful.” Skinner also expressed his gratitude to the Barrow County Board of Commissioners.
“The Board of Commissioners had to make some very difficult decisions in order to create a balanced budget. We want to thank them for their realization of the dangers that could develop to the citizens and property if they had reduced the department’s budget and closed a station,” he said.
Once the possibility of a fire station closing was raised, the Barrow County Professional Firefighter’s Association 4780 went to work to make sure the public was aware of the proposed closing and what effect a closing would have on citizens and businesses.
“These men and woman went out and handed out thousands of information pamphlets to let the citizens know of this possibility and what it could mean to them and I thank them for that,” Skinner said. “I also want to thank Sheriff Jud Smith and his entire department for the support they have shown as well. Our departments work together every day in handling the emergencies of the citizens we protect. We all do this with the highest professionalism possible, and we all know the dangers involved with reducing services while demand is rising.”
Skinner also praised the men and women of his department for handling the situation in a very professional manner.
“These men and woman are what makes Barrow County Emergency Services the great department that it is,” he said. ”I want to thank all the citizens, businesses, Board of Commissioners, Sheriff and the Association for all their support.”