DEE MEADOWS FIRE CHIEF OF WARE COUNTY
President Jim Stapleton called on Chairperson Michael Ray for this week’s program. Michael introduced Dee Meadows, Fire Chief of Ware County. Chief Meadows has thirty-one total years with 25 years with the City of Waycross and now completing three years as Chief of the County. He was recently appointed by the Governor to serve on the State Public Safety Board over all aspects of law enforcement and public safety as one of two fire chiefs. If nothing else, he has gained an appreciation for their jobs and more than ever supports the work done.
Chief Meadows said that one thing all the rain is doing is helping lower the incidents of wood fires in the forests. But there were 920 calls in the 902 square miles of the county this past year. Most calls usually involve traveling on dirt roads. The newest truck in the fleet is a 2007 model year. He is still trying to find $325k for another more up-to-date truck. Even with a budget of $1.3 million, it is so tight that upgrading and replacing equipment is a tough task. The current staff is fifteen firefighters and two administrative members, accomplishing 3500 hours of training while business goes on. The department has added two new “jaws of life” for calls to vehicle wrecks as parts to save property and save lives.
One of his goals is to reduce response times. With the large area to cover, the county now has averaged 8 to 9 minutes in most calls but a call to the outlying areas once took thirty-seven minutes can now be reduced to thirteen minutes. The City with a more confined area has five-minute response times. The addition of new stations is designed with response times in mind like Station #3 at Vickers Road. There are still nine volunteer stations in the county.
Chief Meadows summarized his job as helping keep my community safe and those neighbors in the city and surrounding areas without too much concern with jurisdiction. Go where help is needed!
OLIVIA THRIFT YOUTH OF THE MONTH
It is with much enthusiasm that I introduce to you, Olivia Thrift. Olivia is the daughter of Mike and Cindy Thrift. She is currently ranked 6th out of 347 Ware County High School seniors.
Olivia’s Activities/Honors at WCHS include:
• BETA Club 10th – 12th Grade
• National Honor Society 10th – 12th Grade
• Varsity Sideline Cheerleader 9th – 12th Grade
• Varsity Competition Cheerleader 9th Grade
• HOSA Member 9th- 12th Grade
• HOSA President 11th Grade
• HOSA Community Service Chair 10th & 12th Grade
• Student Council 11th- 12th Grade
• Waycross Bank & Trust Jr. Board of Directors 12th Grade
• All “A” Honor Student 9th – 12th Grade
• Math Team 10th Grade
• President’s List at SGSC 11th Grade
• Highest GPA on Cheer Team 10th-11th Grade
• 2nd Place & International Qualifier at HOSA State Conference 10th Grade
Olivia has been involved in a number of community activities including:
• Church Camp Counselor at Camp Little River
• Church Nursery Volunteer
• Packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child
• Served food and wrapped Christmas presents for YMCA Camp Reveille
• Volunteered at multiple American Red Cross Blood Drives
• Volunteered at Special Olympics
• Volunteered at Rec Department Fall Festival
• Hospice Gala Volunteer
• Hooves to Freedom Volunteer
There are $3,300 outstanding dues! Pay your dues! Please keep our club going by catching up on your payments!
Check out the New Banner on the entrance table received from National in recognition of New Members!
EXCHANGE CLUB FLEA MARKET 5TH MONTH OF OPERATION
Exchange Club Flea Market report as of February 18, 2021, $7,655/$7,415 net earnings. We have fourteen vendors $565, total to date $8,040 as of February 25, 2021.
BLOOD DRIVE ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE!
Al Jacobson, overseer of the Exchange Blood Drive reports on Monday, February 22, 2021, the goal was 140 pints, came out above quota to 158 pints, good job!
KELLY THRIFT DIRECTOR/SOUTHERN CORRECTIONAL MEDICINE
President Jim Stapleton called on Chairperson Ralph Pittman for this week’s program. Ralph introduced Kelly Thrift, Business Development Director for the Southern Correctional Medicine Co. Her company provides comprehensive physical and mental health services to thirty counties, mostly in South Georgia. Ware County Jail has partnered with them since 2016 for doctors and nurses to serve the inmate population. The company was started by Dr. Wrobel of Waycross who has provided the jail with medical services since 1996, but now services are provided through the new company. The services are provided at no cost to inmates as required by law. All ailments, injuries, and diseases in the public are addressed and treated in the inmate population with a cost control perspective. Medical services is one of the most expensive budget areas in the operation of the jail. For example, an inmate may have been diagnosed as HIV positive but was not taking any medicine. As an inmate, he/she would be placed on prescribed medication which in some instances could reach $5000 per month. Another example of additional medical services is “withdrawal protocol”. If the inmates arrive or exhibit withdrawal symptoms, they are provided medical procedures to safely reduce the impact of drugs or alcohol on their physical health. Ms. Thrift touted the great working relationships that have developed between all counties and Southern Correctional Medicine to provide cost-efficient and effective medical services with Ware County as a prime example.