June 16, 2015

FirefighterQUESTION: Where has Fire Chief Jarret Slocumb been the past 7 or 8 weeks? No one can get in touch with him and no one has seen him.

ANSWER: He’s been going to Police Mandate School. He is still getting his county pay check while going, and he is driving the county vehicle back and forth each day to classes. He will be gone another 2 or 3 weeks.

Sources tell us that this is Jarret’s second attempt at police mandate school. He dropped out after a few weeks the first time he went. County taxpayers paid for that as well.

TWG has also been told he is going to Police Mandate School so he can carry a weapon because he is the arson investigator for the county.

Basic Police Officer Training Program Highlights

Length of Program: 11 weeks
Tuition: $3,093
Fees: Approximately $700  

The program is takes 11 weeks to complete and consists of 408 hours of rigorous training that includes classroom-based lecture and practical skills building sessions.

When firefighters complained about not getting training at a recent meeting, the County Manager told them there wasn’t enough money for training. Really? As usual in Jasper County, it’s all about WHO it is.

The lack of available training, which the responsibility of Fire Chief-Jarret Slocumb -and personnel problems as outlined in a firefighter’s resignation letter, are causing our volunteer fight fighters to leave county service. When there is money to provide Police Training to the Fire Chief and no money for those that serve the citizens as fire fighters, the BOC has their priorities in the wrong place.




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  1. Mary Fowler says:

    I thought you were supposed to be qualified for a position before you were hired, not trained for the job after you got it. Am I missing something here?

  2. Aiden says:

    TWG must have really hit a nerve. Jason can’t do enough ‘splainin’ to lift up, defend, and promote Jarret Slocumb. He thinks Jarret should carry a gun and it will enhance the level of safety in Jasper County. With all the resources Sheriff Pope has, Slocumb with a gun is meaningless. The point of the entire article as I read it was to say somehow Jarret is allowed to go to training for 11 weeks while the volunteer firefighters get no training because the county manager says there is no money. Jason was not at the meeting where this happened. His 7 diatribes on the reasoning of police mandate school for Slocumb have gotten to the point of ridiculous.

  3. Jason says:

    I feel like I’m fishing, and all I can catch are red herrings!

    By responding to the original post, I felt like I was offering some insight as to how a few things work, with regards to the fire service as a whole. TWG has a habit of taking something that one person says, and trying to make sound as if it is representative of an entire group.

    Somehow, my comments about how the class doesn’t/shouldn’t cost the county any money have gone completely ignored. No correction, or statement has been made about that.

    My comments about why Jarrett would take this class, and how it can only make him more efficient at doing his job has gone ignored. No one will (or can) disagree with me about that statement.

    Yes, I guess I spoke out of turn with regards to how Jarrett writes citations and such. I don’t know if he writes them or not, or if he has a deputy do it for him. My apologies.

    I have an entire post that I submitted that is still “awaiting moderation”. This is not the first time that I’ve submitted a comment to a post on this blog and it never gets posted. I understand why the moderators of this blog would want to check comments for abusive language and such, but it also gives them the ability to not post comments that they simply don’t want everyone to see. You scream about citizen comments at the commissioners meeting (which I agree with you about) but then refuse to post comments on your own website.

    No, I’m not Melissa, nor am I Karen. I am not employed by this county at all. I am, in fact a man, and before anyone says it, no I am not Jarrett.

    The bottom line is that I see TWG attacking Jarrett for something that I, as a citizen of this county, do not have a problem with. I believe that him taking this class can only enhance his ability to do his job. He’s not on a 3 month paid vacation to some exotic island to take the class, he’s 20 minutes down the road in Forsyth.

    I think that we, as a community, should be more supportive of our county workers. NO, that does not mean I blindly accept everything the commissioners do, nor the county manager. I also understand that being a department head (even if that department only employs 2 people) opens you up to public scrutiny, and that includes Chief Slocumb, but why hasn’t the TWG simply asked about the particulars of that class first, rather than posting such a negative article. Have you bothered to contact Chief Slocumb, the commissioners, or anyone else in the county for information regarding why he is taking the class, or how it will benefit the county? You criticize me for “not knowing what I am talking about” while you write an entire article based on nothing but hearsay, misleading information and unnamed sources.

    • taxdogs says:

      TWG received letters, Emails, and telephone calls about Jarret not returning calls and not being available. This is not hearsay it’s fact and in fact you admit he’s out for 11 weeks. If you think he can do his job better, great. Not everyone feels that way including people that contacted TWG. This is not based on hearsay. In fact we would like to know exactly what Jarret does every day, That this class is so crucial that it will make him do a better job. Also, you obviously were not at the firefighter meeting where they complained they were not getting training. And the County manager said there was no money for training.

  4. Us Goons With Guns says:

    Jason – Why are you concerned about him carrying a gun? Who really cares? If he is mandated he is more trained to carry a gun than 90% of the goons in this county who carry on a regular basis.

    Sound as if Jason just suffers from extreme internal pressure and is in search of quick relief to the point of shooting his mouth off on a subject he clearly does not understand .I suggest charcaol tablets and if those fail, maybe a double dose of a Epson salts is in order.

    “Armed Citizens Make Fewer Mistakes Than Police
    Don’t think that just because the police are trained in the use of firearms that they are less likely to kill an innocent person. A University of Chicago Study revealed that in 1993 approximately 700,000 police killed 330 innocent individuals, while approximately 250,000,000 private citizens only killed 30 innocent people. Do the math.”

    • Jason says:

      Yeah, you totally missed the point I was making about him carrying a gun. TWG and another person made the statement that he was taking this class so he could carry a gun. I was trying to make the point that him taking the class was less about carrying a gun, and more about him being able to do his job. Jarrett carrying a gun would only make things better, because I do believe that the more guns there are in the hands of responsible citizens, the better. I’m very pro-second amendment. The goons I’m talking about are the ones that walk around, open carry, with no idea how to holster their weapon, or carry it in a manner that makes it easily accessible in the event that they actually need to use it. I regularly see folks carrying in a manner that would make it easy to walk up and take their weapon away, and use it against them before they knew what was going on. 90% was an exageration, but you know good and well they type of folks I’m speaking of. I’m all for gun ownership, but I also believe in being responsible about it.

      • Us Goons With Guns says:

        No, you totally failed in making a point . The only thing you succeed at in this comment section is burning though a lot of digital ink without ever saying anything of substance.
        I’ve been around gun owners my entire life and have never seen any open carry in the careless fashion you speak of. I think you’re just shooting your mouth off trying to cover up for the fact that you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.
        We have open -carry laws in Ga. How citizens carry is up to their discretion and thankfully not the likes of you.
        Here’s a fact .The people of Jasper County have never in the past needed a gun-slinging Fire Chief and neither do we now. We’ve have a Sheriff’s Department that serve the county’s law enforcement needs quite well,thank you.

        If Mr. Slocumb wants to to carry a firearm in the service of law enforcement , then he should consider going in the law enforcement field and leave the fire fighting and rescue business to those that are interested in doing that job.

  5. Trudy says:

    According to Jason, Jarret is going to school to be a fire marshal. To be a fire marshal do you go to police mandate school? I don’t know, I am asking. Then when Jarret becomes a fire marshal he is going to “enforce the rules and regulations.” He hasn’t been enforcing the rules and regulations all these years that he has been fire chief?

    • Jason says:

      Maybe a better way of wording it would be to say he could “more efficiently and effectively” enforce the rules and regulations. That statement was made after a search for other county’s and cities job description of what a fire marshal does. I have no idea if he is actually tasked with that job or not, or whether he will carry the additional title or not. I only meant to use it as an example. If he is not currently a law enforcement officer, HE can’t necessarily enforce the law, he can only threaten to call and/or report an offense to the Sheriffs office. If he becomes a law enforcement officer, he could issue citations himself, keeping deputies in the field, doing their jobs.

      And yes, most (if not all) marshals are law enforcement officers, and must attend mandate school. Wikipedia has a pretty decent description of what a fire marshal is and how the job description varies in different jurisdictions.

      • taxdogs says:

        Maybe you don’t know as much as you are trying to make people think you do. Jarret already writes citations and takes people to Magistrate Court. You are saying he can’t do that. Ooops, maybe all those people need to have their fines refunded since he can’t do that–according to you and Wikipedia!!

  6. his big defender says:

    Could it be that the person defending Jarrett is his wife melissa under an anonymous name because they seem to know so much about Jarrett’s activity, and they both have so much at stake and don’t want there gravy train with us tax payers to end.

  7. Jason says:

    The first sentence in your final paragraph begins with “The lack of available training, which the responsibility of Fire Chief-Jarret Slocumb”. That seems like a pretty straight forward statement to me, and sounds to me like an accusation that he isn’t offering enough.

    Also, how many firefighters have resigned? How bad is this problem of firefighters leaving the fire dept? Or, is it just one?

    • taxdogs says:

      Yep! It is an accusation he isn’t offering enough or any training–according to the firefighters at the meeting on 5/28/15. Why don’t you tell us how many have resigned? You seem to know all the answers when it comes to Fire and EMS. Is everything working fine? It’s ok to not have a fire chief for 11 weeks? It’s ok not to staff ambulances? It’s ok that some people get tremendous overtime while others aren’t called to work because they aren’t in the click?

      You state in your comments that “you aren’t sure” and “you don’t have all the answers” and “you don’t know.” The only thing you seem to be sure of is you don’t like things exposed with Fire and EMS.

  8. Jason says:

    You do realize that Chief Slocumb is able to attend this class tuition free, right? If you had read the entire page that you got the tuition information from, you would have seen that the tuition requirements that you included in your blog entry are for “non-eligible” students. Since he is employed by a county public safety agency, he is eligible to attend, tuition free. If anyone who wants to read it for themselves, here is the link:

    In order for Chief Slocumb to have arrest powers, following an arson investigation, he must be mandated and P.O.S.T. certified as a law enforcement officer. It isn’t simply to “carry a weapon”. I think this falls within the limits of what is expected of him to do his job, and frankly, should be expected of him as fire chief. I’m assuming, since you mention that he is “receiving a county paycheck” and driving a county car back and forth that you think he shouldn’t be compensated for attending this particular class. Please explain to me why he should be attending this class on his personal time, since it benefits no one, except the citizens of this county, for him to attend.

    I think you should also be very careful about putting too much stock in a single person’s “resignation letter”. I have zero knowledge of what was written, or who wrote it, but one resignation in an organization that has 30-40 (or more) members isn’t indicative of that organization as a whole.

    Finally, I don’t think you’re being fair in accusing Chief Slocumb of not offering enough training. He has graduated at least 2 groups of certified firefighters that I am aware of in the last 2-3 years. Feel free to do your own research and figure out how many hours of training that required. Individual stations are free to conduct their own training (and some do), outside of countywide, and members of the dept are/should be eligible to attend the academy to take classes also.

    • Jerry says:

      Just wondering why Jason thinks it is OK to pay Jarret to go to the same class twice on the taxpayer’s dime. If he couldn’t make it the first time, he needs to pay for it himself or maybe the county could reimburse anyone taking classes after they actually finish it successfully. This county has so many arson crimes that Jarret needs to carry a gun and arrest people? We have enough deputies to handle that and Jarret could go along with them. One more thing Jason might be able to answer, why do we need a full time fire chief if Jarret can be gone for 11 weeks?

      • Jason says:

        I do not have all of the answers as to why Chief Slocumb dropped out of the class the first time. I’m not even sure its fact, since TWG only cited unknown “sources” about his supposed first attempt. If he did drop the class, was there a medical issue, family issue, or something else that may have forced him to drop the class? I don’t know, but maybe TWG can get some facts, not just hearsay, before posting.

        The only thing the county is paying is his salary. As I stated before, the class should be tuition free for him to attend as far as academy costs are concerned. We will just have to accept that we have a difference of opinion as to whether the county should pay his salary while he attends or not. Personally, I believe it is fine for him to take it. Of all of the silly things that this county pays for, I don’t think its a waste of taxpayer dollars to pay for the county’s fire chief to take classes that enhance his ability to do his job. I also believe it is naive to think that for 3 months he will simply attend class and not perform a single duty of fire chief. As a matter of fact, I would venture to guess that it is difficult for him to attend a class all day, every day, then come home (or to his office, I don’t know) and finish up his duties as fire chief in the evenings, or on weekends.

        I am not familiar with all of the technicalities of becoming a “fire marshal”, but a quick search of job descriptions in the state of Georgia usually shows that one of the duties of fire marshal is to “enforce the rules and regulations” of state fire code and laws. How can he enforce codes and laws without being a law enforcement officer?

        Why are you concerned about him carrying a gun? Who really cares? If he is mandated he is more trained to carry a gun than 90% of the goons in this county who carry on a regular basis. You don’t have a problem with deputies carrying guns, and technically, he would be a law enforcement officer. This will only enhance our level of safety in the county if he did!! Realistically though, most marshals that I have encountered only carry a gun when they are going to make an arrest. They don’t carry a gun on a daily basis.

    • taxdogs says:

      TWG did not accuse Chief Slocumb of not offering enough training. The firefighters themselves complained of not getting enough training or any training at all.

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