The Habersham County Fire Department is an eight station combination department with 17 paid personnel and about 80 volunteers covering 283 square miles of rural and urban mountain land.
The county's current ISO rating ranges from 5 to 10, depending on promiximity to the nearest station and fire hydrant. The department is working diligently to lower the rating with new stations, additional personnel and new equipment.
Habersham County Fire Department is dedicated to the education, life-safety and protection of property for all Habersham County residents and visitors.
The role of the firefighter today is one of the most diverse and challenging professions in the world. Habersham firefighters are trained to extinguish fires, provide emergency medical care, respond to hazardous materials accidents and to take the lead in the wake of natural disasters.
Firefighting is one of the few professions that depends on unpaid volunteers to fill most of its ranks. Men and women from all walks of life, from company executives to mechanics to hardware store clerks to lawyers and doctors, volunteer freely to risk their own lives to save the lives and propety of others. It takes courage and dedication, assertiveness and willingness to learn new skills on an ongoing basis and to face new challenges every time the fire bell sounds.
New volunteers receive basic fire fighting and emergency medical training. Training is usually done on weeknights. There are also regularly scheduled in-house training drills, as well as educational courses provided through the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth and at North Georgia Technical College. Continuing education is offered throughout a firefighter's career.
U.S. FIRE STATISTICS FROM 2011
To get an idea of how important the role of the paid and volunteer firefighter is in this country, take a look at these facts from 2011:
Source: National Fire Protection Association - www.nfpa.org