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Emergency services personnel recognized at awards banquet
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From left, Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson, Matt Harbin, Volunteer Battalion Chief Doug Wofford, Lt. Dennis Lagatta, Battalion Chief Jason Dooley, Tim Cameron, Randy Edwards and Operations and Training Division Chief Danny Speaks. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Dawson County Emergency Services held its annual appreciation and awards banquet Dec. 14, where six personnel received awards in recognition of their contributions to the department in 2018.

“I’m extremely proud to be the fire chief here and of the hard work and dedication of the men and women of this organization. It’s just unparalleled,” said Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson. “I’m just very appreciative of everything they do day-in and day-out for our citizens. This is just a small token of our appreciation for them.”

Battalion Chief Jason Dooley received the Fire Officer of the Year award. Dooley is currently assigned to C-shift but assists the department as the Deputy EMA Director.

After Hurricane Michael ravaged the state in October, Dooley deployed to south Georgia to assist in relief efforts.

“His dedication and commitment to the citizens of Dawson County is unparalleled,” Thompson said.

The Firefighter/Paramedic of the Year award was given to Tim Cameron, whom Thompson said “is one of the best fire/medics I have ever had the privilege to work with in my career.”

Cameron’s positive attitude is contagious amongst his peers, Thompson said.

Matt Harbin received the Firefighter/EMT of the Year award.

Harbin is assigned to the Georgia Body Recovery Team as a K9 handler. He has been on numerous deployments in 2018, including seven days in Mexico City Beach, Fla. after Hurricane Michael.

Randy Edwards was named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for his contributions to the citizens of Dawson County. He volunteers over 48 hours per month, and rides a 12-hour shift once a week with DCES personnel.

Two volunteers also received promotions during the banquet.

Lt. Dennis Lagatta, a volunteer firefighter at Station 8, and volunteer Battalion Chief Doug Wofford, received volunteer promotions.

But the award recipients were quick to deflect the spotlight from themselves to highlight the team effort it takes to keep the county safe.

“I don’t think individual awards are very indicative of the team effort that’s required to be successful in this profession,” Dooley said. “I mean none of us do it by ourselves. There’s lots of people behind us that didn’t get recognized that should be.”

“It’s because of the team that we got the awards,” Cameron said.