Dawson and Pickens counties have partnered to make the residents on Burnt Mountain safer with the creating of a joint fire station.
Leaders from Dawson and Pickens counties met Thursday in Jasper to sign an intergovernmental agreement, which will allow for the construction of a joint fire station on Burnt Mountain.
“It is all about serving the citizens,” said Mike Berg, chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners. “The community folks that are going to be served by this will get a better fire protection rating, which means the costs of their insurance (homeowners insurance) will go down, and it means they will get quicker and faster protection.”
Adequate response times for emergency situations in the Burnt Mountain region, due to distance and difficult terrain, are continuously an issue for first responders, said Dawson County Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond.
Residents who live on Burnt Mountain and the Monument Road area have worked for years to increase fire safety in the area, which includes portions of both Dawson and Pickens counties.
“On behalf of all the folks that live up there on the mountain, who couldn’t be with us today, we really appreciate this effort,” said Clayton Prebel, president of the Wildcat Community, which includes the Burnt Mountain area. “We thank both Dawson and Pickens counties for your leadership. It means a lot to us.”
Dawson County will provide two surplus fire trucks and training for the all-volunteer station, while Pickens County plans to supply the land and construct the $40,000 two-bay fire station.
“We are very proactive in public service and our public welfare of firefighters, ambulance service and our sheriff’s department here in Pickens County, and in Dawson County, they feel the same way,” said Robert Jones, sole commissioner for Pickens County.
Additionally, members of the Wildcat Community, are in the process of raising $30,000 to address the financial needs of setting up and running the station beyond what Dawson and Pickens counties are able to provide, Prebel said.
“In the end, it’s just one more example of two counties working together for the benefit of the citizens,” Berg said.
E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.