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Three Toombs-Montgomery Paramedics Promoted

Three Toombs-Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics were promoted in rank at the Toombs County Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 15. Medics Chasen Cravey and Jordan Ellis were sworn in as Lieutenants by Toombs County Probate Judge Tina Lindsey, while Lieutenant Brock Williams took the oath of office as a recently promoted EMS Captain. “After the last two years of being on the front lines of the pandemic, it takes someone special to desire to serve, and it takes an even more special individual to want to lead,” EMS Director Drew James emphasized. “Tonight, we promote three individuals who exemplify those characteristics.”

James explained that the promotion process is a highly competitive process, which includes testing and interviews by a panel of professionals who help to choose the promoted individuals. These professionals are EMS Captain Ashley Williams, EMS Captain Dustin Finley, Memorial Health Meadows Hospital Trauma/Stroke Coordinator Karrie Page, Vidalia Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Ben Allen, and retired EMS Captain Glen Taylor. The characteristics which the panel looks for when determining promotions are the provision of the highest level of prehospital care, family-orientated lifestyle, leadership by example, and understanding of the future of the organization.

Lieutenant Chasen Cravey began working with the Toombs-Montgomery EMS in May 2019. Before becoming a paramedic, Cravey worked as a firefighter at the McRae-Helena Fire Department where he continues to work parttime. He has remained local throughout his career, as continued from page

he graduated from Southeastern Technical College. He has been assigned to fleet management and has already begun working in that area.

Lieutenant Jordan Ellis joined the Toombs-Montgomery EMS in September 2017. He has also remained local, receiving his education from Southeastern Technical College, and currently working in the surrounding school systems by teaching CPR.

Captain Brock Williams began working with Toombs- Montgomery EMS in October of 2016 and rose to the rank of lieutenant in November 2020. Williams is also a graduate of Southeastern Technical College, where he now educates future paramedics.

“There is no greater honor than to serve as the director of an EMS of this caliber, especially on nights like tonight, when we are surrounded by personnel and family to celebrate these achievements,” James said.

Commission Chairman David Sikes commented on these promotions. “On behalf of the Commission and the County Manager, I hope that all of you realize how much we care about you all from our actions, such as the new building we were able to supply you all with,” he told the paramedics. “I hope you know how much you mean to us because we look at the safety of our citizens as the highest calling for our community. We are super thankful for you guys – congratulations on the new lieutenants and captains. – we are mighty proud of you guys and your department.”

Commissioner Wendell Dixon shared that he had received a call to thank the EMS for their diligent and skillful work while responding to an injury at a Vidalia High School baseball game. “Superintendent Garrett Wilcox told me he was very impressed with you all and how professional you all are,” Dixon told the EMS staff.

EMA Director Lynn Moore thanked the Commission for its decision to combine the EMS and EMA in the new building at the Ross Bowen Complex. “That was a brilliant decision to put us together in that building, because often, we work so closely together,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to work with Drew, and we look forward to enjoying our time in the shared facility.”

Vidalia Fire Chief Brian Sikes shared with the Commission his gratitude for Toombs County EMS/ EMA housing a fire truck and firefighters until temporary housing could be established at Fire Station 1 after it was damaged by a tornado. Sikes commended the County for its willingness to work as a united community.

Other Business Commissioners unanimously approved the installation of a Video Teleconferencing Capability (VTC) and Streaming system for Courtroom B in the current Toombs County Courthouse. A similar system is already installed in Courtroom A of the Courthouse, and is used to help lower the number of court cases, which have been backed up because of the pandemic. This system originally totaled $25,277, but after the utilization of $6,013 of credits, which a court official allowed the Commission to use, the system totaled $19,263.55, which will be paid for out of the yearly courtroom maintenance budget. The system will also be able to be transferred to the new courthouse facility, and will be installed by SNL Integrated.

Commissioners also approved the 6-month rental of a Mobile Chiller System for the current courthouse to avoid having to replace the current air conditioning unit, which has recently reached an unfixable state. Trane will be fully responsible for the upkeep of this system, which will cost $8,600 a month. A new courthouse is under construction and is expected to be complete by August 2023. The faulty air condition system in the old courthouse has been an ongoing issue. Toombs County Fire Department will receive a new brush truck, as Commissioners agreed to purchase a 2011 Chevrolet KTA Utility from Madison County Fire Department in Tennessee. This new truck will cost $10,577.25, and will be used to replace the former brush truck, which was disposed of in 2011. The mowing contract with K & A Mowing for the rights of way on all paved roads, as well as two cuttings of the closed landfill was renewed by Commissioners for the same price. This service will cost $81,975.66 for three cuttings of these areas.

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