July 20, 2015

 The reason for the JCWSA ‘hydrant tax’ or Fire Tax District is because the areas where the JCWSA water lines run supposedly have better fire protection, lower ISO ratings, and lower insurance premiums because of the hydrants, and those hydrants need to be maintained.

 But what if there isn’t any real fire protection in the area? Take for instance Alcovy North. This map shows many of the parcels in that area subject to the hydrant tax. The red parcel marks the fire station location.

 Alcovy N FD


The Alcovy North Fire Station used to be maintained when it was used for a voting precinct. As a cost cutting measure, that station as well as one or two others, were done away with as voting precincts. The words “used to” are used because based on reports we have received Alcovy North (Station 6), no longer has a fire truck housed at the station. Their old fire truck has been down at Station 3 (Hwy 212 W) for quite some time.

 The station itself seems to be abandoned. A report from a citizen that lives nearby states, “There is nothing but junk and trash in the building that I can see into. There is no evidence of anyone being there lately, but the grass is fairly well kept. The only thing of any value that I saw was that someone was keeping their Jon Boat in there.”

 Maybe Alcovy North will get that new pumper truck that is being bid on again. At least that way the ‘hydrant tax’ would make more sense for the people in that area.

Your comments are welcome!




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  1. Carlos says: this is the link to state’s requirements. We do offer annual classes for new fire fighters once we have enough for a class. If they complete all the classes, the will reach Fire Fighter 1 status. The state requirements are constantly changing; usually based on the fire pension fund and ISO. The big push is to move volunteer fire fighters more towards career (paid) fire fighters, which requires more training. Fighter Fighter 1 status is what most career departments require or train their fire fighters to. I believe we loose fire fighters due to working hours for jobs and needs for the family. We all understand this seeing how we have families as well. Being a volunteer fire fighter takes a certain level of commitment and dedication due the sporadic nature. We cant justify keeping someone on the roster if they dont meet the minimum standard: 50% of training and calls. Meaning we dont want someone out here attempting to help the public and not knowing what they are doing. Once we determine that a fire fighter is lacking in training and call response, they are notified. If the fire fighter does not correct this, a final letter is sent requesting for them to return all county equipment and property. We are keeping better records now and saving the county money by collecting that equipment and redistributing it to new fire fighters.

    Some people have mentioned lack of training: there have been some lazy times, but for the most part our training is focused around the skills you need for the type of calls we answer. We do hands on, practical applications to make the training as real as possible.

    Our number of volunteers will always fluctuate. People are moving in and moving out. I will get more information on how citizens can help. Countywide fire training is held on every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. We meet at station 3 on Ga Hwy 212 in town. Anyone interest in joining can come see us on those nights.

  2. Just another tax says:

    The “hydrant tax” money does not go to support a fire station, a fire engine or even to maintain fire hydrants. Each year about $50,000 is collected through this hydrant tax and it all goes to support JCWSA.

  3. Josh says:

    So first of all get your facts straight. If you follow this page then you know that earlier this year E6 had some mechanical issues and the commissioners voted not to have the truck fixed. That’s one thing they did right. Yes the buildings to look rundown but we do however take care of the station. We moved all the unwanted, outdated equipment out of the new station to make room for a newer fire truck. We currently Have a tanker and a brush truck/squad in that station. The John boat and all the other stuff in the old building is getting ready to be put on Gov dills so we can raise money to obtain nicer equipment. So if you would like to stop by anytime and see what we run calls in please do so. But don’t make stuff up about a station that has 7 volunteers on it. If you would like to help make a difference contact the Chief. Thanks

    • taxdogs says:

      Josh, It is very hard to get information about the fire stations and the equipment. Nothing was ever mentioned in any BOC meeting about which truck (what station) was to be fixed. Will Station 6 get the new truck or will that go to Station 3 and 6 will get another truck? Who is the Chief? Folks in Alcovy North are paying extra for fire protection and the station does look abandoned. Thanks for your input. Any other information you have is welcome!

      • Josh says:

        The new fire truck is going to station 1 due to the call volume. Station 6 will be getting E1 a newer truck. We are a volunteer county and station 6 has No support from the community financially. So everything that is done at the station is done by the firefighters. So if you can get the community to back us by all means.

      • Carlos says:

        In regards to the blog: Refer back to to this meeting The replacement of Engine 6 was discussed. Due to the bid process, the cost of that demo truck increased and was not the best option. The truck that is currently out for bid will cost more but I do believe this truck was included in the SPLOST. The current Engine 6 is a rolling death trap that should have been taken out of service years ago. That truck is a 1982 Mack that was purchased from Dekalb County sometime around the late 90’s. That truck was actually Engine 6 there also, which was the busiest station. That truck was wore out when purchased, but due to the volunteers needing equipment and no money, they decided to make it work. You can only put bandaids on a problem for so long and that box of bandaids is now empty! When an independent service contractor, whom isnt trying to sell you something, tells you that its time to replace this truck, maybe we should listen!! The fire service does pretty good at saving taxpayer’s money: trucks are usually purchased every 5 to 10 yrs and last 15 to 20 yrs.

        For as the volunteers at station 6: the participation is at its highest since the past few years. There is usually a guaranteed response from someone during all hours. Im guessing that the citizen was looking into the old building which is empty. The trucks: Tanker 6 and Squad 6, are kept in the new building. There was discussion on Saturday about demolishing that old building seeing how there is no need for it.

        We are always looking for new volunteers to help out. We know that everyone cant be a fire fighter, but there are other jobs to be done. We are looking for individuals that can operate a rehab unit during fires and large incidents. This person(s) would simply make sure all the fire fighters and emergency personnel have water and Gatorade ready inside the rehab truck. Every little bit can help. At the end of the day, we are all citizens of Jasper County!!

      • taxdogs says:

        I spoke with Comm. Pennamon last night and he said that the truck for Station 6 was worn out when it was purchased from Dekalb County. Carlos, what are the qualifications for a volunteer firefighter? It has been said that volunteers are quitting because they can’t work and fulfill the training requirements that the State has added. Is that true? Last night the audit for 2014 showed that we have much lower volunteer firefighters than in previous years–as low as 2006. Yes we are all citizens and many people would be willing to help if they knew about what they could do to help.

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