2012 Firefighters of the Year

Gordon County Fire Rescue recently announced the recipients of the 2012 Paid-Per-Call (formerly known as Volunteer) Firefighter and Career Firefighter of the Year.

Congratulations goes to Billy Galmon who was selected by Chief David Hawkins as the Paid-Per-Call Firefighter of the Year.  Billy has been a staple of Gordon County Fire for many years.  Billy began his tenure with the fire department back in 1978.  “We can’t get rid of him,” said Deputy Chief Byron Sutton.  “I’m kidding; Billy is like a Godfather to many of us in the department.  Especially those of us who have been around for a long time.  We’ve all been through a lot together over the years,” Chief Sutton said.

Billy began serving the citizens of Gordon County in Sonoraville when he started.  At that time, there was only one truck at that station; therefore, there was only one bay.  Today, Station #2 in Sonoraville has three bays and houses three pieces of apparatus.  Billy has served as the station coordinator of Station #2 for many years.  Chief Sutton said, “He’s the longest serving member of Station #2.  He was here when I started with the department in 1986, and it appears he is going to be here long after I’m gone.”  All the members who started at that station when it was established are no longer there, but Billy has continued to serve the citizens of the Sonoraville community for all these years.  Billy has also served the department by teaching the CPR classes for the department for many years through the American Red Cross.  He retired a few years ago from his long-standing job at Astro Dye,  moved to Calhoun, and now works in the local Red Cross office here in Calhoun.

With retirement, Billy moved into the city of Calhoun.  Being so far away from the fire station in Sonoraville made it difficult for Billy to continue serving at Station 2.  He recently passed the torch of coordinator of the Sonoraville Station to someone else, but he isn’t quite ready to give up serving in the fire department.  He recently was asked by Chief Hawkins to take the reigns of the Paid-Per-Call members of Station #1 in Calhoun.  “This is a new venture for us,” said Chief Sutton.  “We added a new vehicle (used truck donated by Atlanta Gas Light) to our fleet in the form of a service truck.  To receive credit for this unit with ISO (Insurance Services Organization), we need to have it responding to every structure fire call.  We don’t have the career staff to accomplish this.  With Billy living close by, we are able utilize him to get this apparatus to the scene.  This also keeps him right where we want him, serving our department.”

Congratulations also goes to Lieutenant Greg Hasty, who was selected as the Career Firefighter of the Year by the Battalion Chiefs of the department.  Lt. Hasty has been with the fire department for 8 years and currently serves as a company officer at Station 1.  “Greg came to us by way of law enforcement.  I think it took him awhile to figure out which public safety agency actually has all the fun,” said Chief Sutton.  “He’s one of my “techie” guys, as I like to call him.  He’s pretty good with a computer, so he helps me with programming of our radios, ordering things, etc.”

“On behalf of Chief Hawkins and I,”  Chief Sutton said, “congratulations to both of these men for their accomplishments.

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