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DCES honors recently promoted personnel
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Dawson County Emergency Services recently promoted three to new leadership positions within the department.

The promotions of Battalion Chief Jamerson Kerby, Capt. Andy Scott and Lt. Shaun Benfield were celebrated during a ceremony Friday night at the Dawson County Library.

"It's an important event in these folks lives, and we want to recognize them in front of their peers, in front of the family and their community for the sacrifices they've made and for the leadership role they've stepped up and accepted within the department and within the community itself," said Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford.

Kerby, a 16-year employee who began his career in emergency services after completing his EMT training at Lanier Technical College in 1992, served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army and as a member of the U.S. Army National Guard.

He is a certified paramedic, firefighter, fire officer, fire safety instructor and apparatus operator. He is also certified in hazardous materials awareness and operations and is a 2013 graduate of the Georgia EMS.

As one of the department's three battalion chiefs, Kerby is responsible for daily management of his respective shifts, including overseeing personnel and responses, among other emergency management tasks.

Kerby said he is "proud to serve the citizens of Dawson County in this position."

He also congratulated the others who were promoted.

"We all look forward to the process of making Dawson County as safe as possible for the citizens," he said. "We each wish to thank the crews and staff who made this possible."

Capt. Scott began his career as a volunteer firefighter with Dawson County Emergency Services in 1992 and worked in the private sector until 1997 when he graduated from Lanier Tech's EMT-I program. He joined the department fulltime in 1998.

Scott became a cardiac technician in 2000 and completed his paramedic training in 2002. He is a certified firefighter, apparatus operator, fire instructor, fire safety educator and in hazardous materials awareness.

Lt. Benfield joined the department in 2007 from the Habersham County Fire Department.

He graduated from North Georgia Technical College's EMT-I program in 2006 and is certified as firefighter, EMT and apparatus operator.

Kerby, Scott and Benfield were each presented with a new helmet and pins identifying their new leadership roles.

"We feel it's important to recognize them and the accomplishments that they've made and the contributions they are going to make in this new position that they've accepted," Swafford said.