Terrell County gets new fire truck, but creates controversy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Terrell County gets new fire truck, but creates controversy

December 18, 2006

Terrell County-  A Terrell County Corrections Officer is suspended for criticizing her boss.  She claimed the warden didn't give inmates credit for helping Terrell County get a new fire truck. An article about the new truck appeared in the Dawson Citizen. 

Apparently, Officer Keisha Street, talked to a newspaper reporter after the article appeared.  She was upset that prisoners weren't recognized for their work in getting a grant to buy the truck.  A reporter questioned the warden who then suspended Street for speaking out. 

"He thought so and I certainly would support that, you just don't go out and start criticizing in public, it makes the workplace mighty difficult when you work 15, 20, 30 people and you got people undermining what you're doing and I guess that's what she did," said Wilber T. Gamble, Terrell County Commission Chairman. 

Authorities at the Corrections Institute also accused Officer Street of calling News Ten to complain and said that played a role in her suspension. 

WALB News Ten never received a call from the guard until this morning after she was suspended. 

Here's the good news connected to that controversy. 

Two years of work by Terrell County firefighters and corrections inmates paid off with the approval of a federal grant to pay for a new attack tanker. Monday, the new truck was being outfitted with a communications system. 

The truck went into service over the weekend.  The new 2007 American Lafrance tanker will allow firefighters to attack a fire with twice the water than they've had in the past. 

"We don't have any fire hydrants in the county so we have to carry our water with us. We have a water shuttle, this is three thousand gallons, which will double our initial water supply on attack," said Lt. Ashley Loggins, Terrell County Fire Department trainer. 

 The new truck also lowered the county's I.S.O. rating from a 10 to a 9.  That'll will save homeowners money on their insurance premiums.

Firefighters plan to hold a grant writing workshop this spring to help other departments get federal money to buy equipment.  

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