Jones County commissioners voted at their Oct. 8 board meeting to fund another full-time firefighter for the county, and Emergency Management Director and Jones County Fire Chief Don Graham announced that the position would be located in Gray.
The Gray fire station is the second busiest in the county with Station One on Highway 49, the busiest. A full-time fireman has been stationed at Station One since 2011 and another was placed at River North last year.
The firefighter positions are not filled by one individual but by a rotation from a pool of volunteer firemen, and that is the same plan for the city position. That pool consists of 18 certified firemen, four of whom are city firefighters.
The firemen work no more than 23 hours a week in order to remain part-time county employees.
The positions are manned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, which is the time most volunteer firefighters are working their full-time paying jobs. The goal of having the paid positions is to supplement the volunteer force and to decrease the time it takes to get a firefighter and fire equipment at the scene. The ultimate objective is to save lives and minimize property damage.
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