Pickens County Station 10.
Monument Rd. station now Pickens Fire Station 10
By Tucker Green, Pickens County Information Officer
Photos by Jim Francis
On Saturday June 29, Wildcat Community residents gathered with local officials and fire personnel to officially recognize Station 10 as a Pickens County fire station.
Pickens Commission Chairman Robert Jones (left) and former Dawson Fire Chief Lanier Swafford (now with Habersham County) at the ribbon cutting for Pickens Fire Station 10 (formerly Dawson Fire Station 8)which both men were instrumental in establishing to serve the Wildcat Community, Inc., located in unincorporated areas of Pickens and Dawson counties.
The station was originally built in 2009 as a partnership between Pickens and Dawson counties. The original partnership and agreement classified the station as a Dawson County fire station. Over the last year the partnership and agreement have been restructured now classifying the station under Pickens County. The station is manned by volunteers and serves primarily Wildcat Community, Inc, which are located in unincorporated areas in both Pickens and Dawson counties. Wildcat Community Inc. includes Big Canoe, Bent Tree, Burnt Mountain Estates, Monument Falls, Sassafras Mountain Estates, Tate Estates, Tomahawk, Windsong and Wintermont.
The grand opening was organized by Clayton Preble, president of Wildcat Community Inc. Pickens County Commission Chairman Robert Jones welcomed attendees and gave a history of Station 10 as well as an outlook for fire service in the future. Former Dawson County Fire Chief Lanier Swafford also spoke about the history of Station 10 and the needs it serves. Jones and Swafford were instrumental in originally partnering with the community to construct the station.
Pickens County Fire Chief Sloan Elrod spoke about the training volunteers go through and thanked them for their willingness to serve. Station 10 Volunteer Chief John Tarantini educated the crowd about emergency preparedness. Additionally, Joey Fellows with Amicalola EMC spoke about power issues. J. Berkshire with Windstream presented an update on broadband. Mark Wiles with Georgia Forestry discussed wildfires and preventative methods. Overall, it was an exciting day filled with lots of helpful information. The partnership between Pickens, Dawson, and the Wildcat Community remains strong. The services provided by this community-based fire station are significant and with continued commitment will last for many years to come.
Mark Wiles, representing Georgia Forestry Service, updating the audience about wildfires.
John Tarantini, Station 10 volunteer chief and Wildcat Community resident updating those attending the ribbon cutting on emergency preparedness
Clayton Preble, an active Pickens County volunteer, president of Wildcat Community Association, resident and volunteer fireman. He has been a strong supporter of Firewise practices for the Wildcat communities
Pickens County Commissioner Rob Jones (third from left) with the firefighters of Station 10; (far left, red shirt) is Pickens Fire Marshall Shane Callahan and far right in yellow shirt is Pickens Fire Chief Sloan Elrod.