There have been more than 600 fire fatalities in the U.S. since the beginning of the year.
“The majority of those have been either when residents didn’t have a smoke detector or [had] a non-working smoke detector,” said Billy Thurmond, director of Dawson County Emergency Services. “Luckily, we haven’t had any here.”
Thurmond said several fundraisers over the next few weeks will allow the department to continue placing smoke detectors free of charge in local homes in an effort to keep Dawson County free of home fire fatalities.
About 10 percent of funds collected during the department’s annual boot drive that begins on Friday will purchase smoke detectors and replacement batteries for the ongoing project, according to Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield.
The remainder collected will benefit the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, which provides assistance to burn victims and their families, as well as sends young burn victims to camp each year.
Emergency service personnel will be collecting donations at various locations throughout the county May 7, 8, 14 and 15.
Satterfield also invites the community to participate in the inaugural Dawson County Emergency Services Golf Tournament on May 17 at Crystal Falls Golf Club.
Registration begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start for the four-man Ft. Lauderdale format. Teams, at $250 for four players, are still forming and sponsorships are still available.
For more information on the boot drives or the golf tournament, contact Tim Satterfield at (678) 776-5577 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.