THOMSON -- Things just keep getting better for the McDuffie County Fire Department.
Just a few months after a new fire station was completed at the new Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, the county's first full-time firefighters have been hired.
Fire Chief Bruce Tanner couldn't be more pleased.
"These are the very first group of paid firemen the county has ever employed," he said. "They're excellent employees so far. I've been very pleased with their work ethic, and very pleased with their energy, and very pleased with their enthusiasm."
The three firemen -- Ed Lewis, Scott Montgomery and Joe Vines -- are experienced, and they all say they understand the privilege of being the county's very first full-time firefighters.
Joe Vines (left), Ed Lewis and Scott Montgomery are McDuffie County's very first full-time firefighters. They've been hired to work out of the county's brand new station, which is adjacent to the Thomson McDuffie County Regional Airport.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
"This is an honor," said Vines, a McDuffie County native and fire-department volunteer for six years. "It's a real honor to be able to serve the county you grew up in."
"It's exciting," he said. "Hopefully we can have a positive effect on the county out here."
Tanner estimates that with his new employees, county residents will experience shorter response times.
"We've had a very positive reduction in our response times," he said. "Just having this station out here, and having it staffed 24 hours a day, we get more contact with the public. If anyone ever needs information, there's always somebody here."
Lewis, who's been a firefighter for 20 years, relishes his opportunity to change people's lives on a daily basis.
"My great experience with this job is dealing with people, serving them in their times of need, and trying to comfort them with any tragedy," he said.
All three new firemen gave credit to Tanner and Administrative Officer Stephen Sewell for giving them the opportunity to serve the county.
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