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Commission chair receives Joe Lane Cox EMS award
I-Thurmond Awarded pic
Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford, left, presents current Board of Commissioners Chair and past EMS Director Billy Thurmond with the Joe Lane Cox Excellence in EMS award on May 4. - photo by Allie Dean Dawson County News

Dawson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Billy Thurmond was recognized last week for his previous work as Emergency Medical Services Director and presented with the Region 2 Joe Lane Cox Excellence in EMS Award.

Lanier Swafford, current Dawson County Emergency Services director, presented the award.
Swafford explained that on April 27, Georgia's Region 2 EMS Advisory Council held its first annual regional awards banquet at Unicoi State Park, after many years sponsoring the award at the state level.

"The Joe Lane Cox award has been presented annually on a statewide level by the Region 2 Council to an individual who has made substantial contributions for the promotion and advancement of EMS," Swafford said. "This individual may not be employed in EMS but like Joe Lane Cox donate his or her time and efforts to continue the improvement of EMS in Georgia's region, state and national levels."

Swafford said that in addition to being sole commissioner, probate judge and mayor of Dawsonville for many years, Cox served more than 25 years on the Region 2 EMS Council, serving many of those 25 as chair.

"While he served on the council he made a couple of good moves for Dawson County, and number one he hired a real good EMS director in 1987 and appointed him about that time to be on the council," Swafford said. "And this year your chairman was nominated and selected."

Thurmond accepted the award for donating his time and efforts to improve EMS in Georgia and "exceeding what's expected."

"You're only as good as the people you have around you, and I have been blessed my entire career working here in Dawson County to have worked with excellent people," Thurmond said.

"There are a lot of people more deserving than me to win this award, and I am humbled and do appreciate that and consider Joe Lane an excellent person...he had more confidence in my ability to be EMS director than I probably did at that particular time but as most things that I've taken on in my life working for the county, I'm always up for a challenge so I was willing to take on that challenge as well."