VFD Captain Named GFA ’22 Educator of the Year
Public service was a popular topic at the Vidalia City Council meeting on Monday, October 10, as Vidalia Fire Department Captain Robert Tillman received the Georgia Firefighters Association (GFA) 2022 Educator of the Year award. Also, the City Council recognized several officers and dispatchers and approved the purchase of three new patrol cars for the Vidalia Police Department.
Educator of the Year
GFA Board Member Jeff Hardin and Georgia Association of continued from page
Fire Chiefs District 8 Vice President Casey Wright attended this month’s regular meeting of the City Council to present Captain Tillman with the Educator of the Year Award.
“We are very proud and excited for Captain Tillman,” VFD Chief Brian Sikes commented. “I love to brag on our fire department and firefighters. They do a great job, and I’m excited for this chance to brag on Captain Tillman, as he has accomplished a great feat.”
Hardin also spoke on Tillman’s accomplishment as he presented him with the award. “The Educator of the Year award honors a member of the GFA who educates residents about fire safety. Captain Robert Tillman exudes a passion for fire safety that he extends to everyone in his community.”
Vidalia Police Chief James Jermon introduced five new hires at the Vidalia Police Department (VPD) to the City Council. These new hires included an Animal Control Officer, two new police officers, and two new dispatchers. Jermon also told the Council that newlyhired Dispatcher Andrew Williams will be attending the Police Academy in January 2023. “Every test that we put them through, they have passed with flying colors,” Jermon remarked. “I know they will do a fine job.”
Chief James Jermon also presented three Toombs County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) investigators Josh Colbert, Nick Luke, and Georgia Chambers with an award for their work with the VPD in apprehending a suspected shooter on September 20. Jermon emphasized the danger of the situation, as he says the suspect, who was armed and dangerous with two guns in his car, was hiding out at a nearby house, less than 100 yards from the officers, when he was spotted by law enforcement. The suspect then fled from law enforcement, causing them to engage in a high-speed chase throughout town. “The suspect had no regard for law enforcement, other cars, traffic laws, or pedestrians, making it a very dangerous situation,” Jermon commented. The Chief said that it was the work of these investigators which made the suspect’s capture possible through their work locating the suspect, deploying the stop sticks, and keeping citizens safe through alerting motorists. He also praised the working relationship between the TCSO and VPD. “These three investigators, along with other deputies and our very own officers, describe what true public service exemplifies: a team ready to assist at any time in any way possible,” Jermon remarked.
Three 2022 Dodge Chargers, fully equipped with police equipment, were approved for purchase for the VPD at the October 10 Council meeting. These vehicles will be purchased for $99,000 and several radio, video, and light systems, along with equipment from other vendors. These vehicles were purchased with Red-Speed Funds, which is the money gained through traffic tickets from the school zone cameras. The equipment, which costs $45,366.16, was funded through Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
Police and fire radio systems will be serviced by Hub Electronics until 2026, following the contract approved by the City Council. This contract locked in the price not to exceed $14,952 annually, which City Manager Nick Overstreet said helps the city to budget properly each year.