Tift Co. may split fire services from Tifton - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tift Co. may split fire services from Tifton

City Mgr. Larry Riner City Mgr. Larry Riner
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

Tift County Commissioners continue to move forward with planning to separate its Fire Department from the City of Tifton.   Tifton city leaders say they haven't decided yet whether to set up their own fire department. But county leaders tell us they are pulling out of the joint department currently managed by the city.

In June, the County said that they were moving forward with setting up their own fire department after a study into the joint department.  Now, the city has wrapped up its own investigation.

Tift County Commissioners say they're moving forward with a plan to separate from the current Tifton Tift County Fire Department based on their investigation into fire service in the county earlier this year.

"We had public safety concerns with the way the equipment and the volunteer staff and the unincorporated part of the county was being maintained," said Robert Setters.

This week, Tifton city leaders heard from consultants who looked into the city's four fire stations.

"The department itself is well managed and well run and we respond to fires appropriately," said City Mgr. Larry Riner.

County Commissioner Robert Setters says the city's investigation was different than the county's. "There's more volunteers then there are paid fire staff, and they didn't even investigate that part yet they're in charge of it."

Tifton's City Manager says, although it seems like the County will be parting ways with the city, he hopes county leaders will reconsider.

"I don't feel like we need two departments we have a very well managed department we continue to provide service county wide and spare the tax payers of Tift County any additional expense," Riner said.

But Commissioner Setters says they are moving forward. "If any changes their mind it be the city, but we are full steam ahead."

If the city votes to manage their own fire department, it will include the four stations in the city limits.  County Commissioner Setters says that the county will be looking to fill positions for their fire department in January. 

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