THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A Thomasville Fire Marshal is gaining international recognition for his achievements and dedication to serving his community. He couldn't have done it without the support of his fellow firefighters, he says.
Tim Connell has been with Thomasville Fire Rescue for the past 17 years, and with each year serving as Fire Marshal, he has the same goal in mind.
But recently, he's been focusing on another goal, one he thought was impossible to achieve, becoming a Designated Fire Marshal. "We're here to prevent fires and save lives," he said.
"He has gone above and beyond and he has met the highest standard that you can have in the fire service," said Fire Chief Chris Bowman.
For the past two years, Chief Connell was determined to meet the educational, technical, and career qualifications to receive this honor. A tough task with many requirements.
"With the support of previous chiefs and Chief Bowman, they let me know that it is obtainable and you just have to go out there and work for it," said Connell
Chief Connell is one of three fire marshals in the state of Georgia with this designation, and one of 92 in the world. "It's a tremendous accomplishment. I'm very proud of what he's been able to do," said Bowman.
Chief Connell's commitment to the Thomasville community was proven with his initiation of installing free smoke detectors to save lives, but he says the honor is not just for him.
"You're always told that your hard work pays off, and it does, it really does. So, it's not just me, but it's the entire department that gets this."
Chief Connell will receive his official designation in August in Atlanta. He says he's the first to receive the award in Southwest Georgia, and he hopes he's not the last.