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Guns & Hoses battle leads to 70 beds for children
bed build
The Dawsonville chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace hosts a Bed Build off between the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Dawson County Emergency Services Aug. 3 at Atlanta Motorsports Park. - photo by Jessica Taylor

A little friendly competition between deputies and firefighters Saturday morning resulted in 70 beds being built for kids in need.

Members of Dawson County Emergency Services and the Sheriff’s Office gathered together Aug. 3 at Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville for an epic “Guns N Hoses” bed building competition for Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Skip Sevier, president of the Dawsonville chapter of SHP, started the chapter last September to help the nonprofit fulfil its mission “no kid sleeps on the floor in our town” and has since hosted bed building competitions in Dawson, Forsyth and Lumpkin counties where volunteers build bunk bed components for local children who do not have beds of their own.

Sevier reached out to Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson to see if the men and women in blue would be up for a friendly competition against their firefighting friends.

“I appreciate Sheriff Johnson reaching out to us to be a part of this event. Skip and his team of volunteers, it’s just good to see everybody coming together for this event to really help out those that are in need of stuff,” Dawson County Emergency Services Director and Fire Chief Danny Thompson said.

It’s not the first time the sheriff’s office has faced off against emergency services at AMP. Last year, the two went head to head in a stiff go-kart race for Relay for Life in which Team Hoses came out on top.

With their mission clear and little bit of friendly trash talk, the Team Guns and Team Hoses worked to build the most bed components as fast as they could to be declared victorious.

“We’re out of pieces! Firefighters won 36 to 35! I can’t believe it,” Sevier exclaimed.

Down to the wire, and nearly two hours ahead of schedule, the SHP team were out of pieces to assemble and Team Hoses won by a nose.

“Technically we won. Can’t help it that we ran out of materials,” Johnson said, smiling.

“The sheriff’s got a point,” Sevier said. “They were finished with their 35th before the firefighters were finished with their 36th.”

The deputies were the first to complete their 35 bed components, having run out of materials to go any further. The firefighters, however, managed to complete one last headboard to earn their win.

“Well you know, it’s hard work, dedication, you know the fact that we’re firefighters contributed to this event immensely,” Thompson said, laughing. “It’s hard to be serious.”

The win, however, is still contested with both teams ready to tackle another competition to set the record straight.

“We hope that we’re able to do it on an annual event,” Johnson said. “It’s certainly a noble and worthy cause and it’s a good time, a good Saturday morning.”

“We love being a part of it, love being part of our community, love citizens very much and we’re just very, very happy to be here today,” Thompson said.

Team Hoses was awarded a headboard branded with the SHP logo and signed by all of Saturday’s participants. They will hang on to that trophy until the next bed build off where the sheriff’s office will be fighting for a chance to reclaim it.

“I’m always up for a good challenge,” Thompson said, jokingly. “Sooner or later we’re going to have to let the sheriff’s department win.”

At the end of the day, the teams built 70 beds that will be distributed to children in need of a place to sleep.

“What a treat to be able to bring some fun,” Sevier said.

After Saturday’s bed building fun, Johnson said he hopes that the community will find a cause to support and get involved.

“There are a lot of people in our county that’s in need, there’s a lot of children in need and anytime we can do something to benefit our children, it’s most worthwhile,” Johnson said.

“I wish that we could do more for our community,” Thompson said. “We’re always trying to do the things that make us be Dawson County and we’re just happy to be part of it.”

Requesting a bed is a simple process that is done through the SHP website. The only requirement is having a child, or children, who do not have their own bed. For more information on Sleep in Heavenly Peace or to request a bed, visit shpbeds.org. 

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