Up close and personal with Gilmer Fire and Rescue – Ron Cheslock

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Continuing our series of posts, “up close and personal” with the finest men and women in the Fire Service – the personnel of Gilmer County Fire and Rescue. Today we’re proud to visit with a member of our Community Paramedicine Team, Firefighter/EMT Ron Cheslock…

“My EMS career started shortly after high school, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania when I signed up for a CPR and Advanced First Class with our Fire/Rescue Unit. I was immediately hooked, and volunteered with the station for a few years as a First Responder while attending college and working full time.

I joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman (Medic) serving over half of my 11 years in the military as an Infantry Field Medic with Marine Corps battalions and Special Operation Units. I was responsible for providing medical care to Marines and Sailors attached to our units while deployed, both on shore and at sea.

Following my military service, I continued my professional career in healthcare, working primarily in management and information technology roles both in the public and private sector. However, I always missed the “rush” and drive for going back to patient care in an emergency/austere setting.

Shortly after moving to Ellijay in 2016, I joined the department as a member of the Search & Rescue Team with Gilmer Fire/Rescue, and enrolled in the Firefighter and EMT training courses. I enjoy being back in the fast paced environment and look forward to starting Paramedic school in late summer.

I am excited to have the opportunity to come back and work in emergency care, and serve the community where I call home. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with the family, hiking and camping. I also enjoy serving our local community as Cubmaster of our scout pack and serving on the Advisory committee for Keep Gilmer Beautiful.”

 

 

(article and photos provided by the Gilmer County Public Safety)

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Community Paramedicine meets students in schools offering

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EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – As many are beginning to talk about the possibility of returning to school, some are still attempting to wrap up the previous year.

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Members of Gilmer’s Community Paramedicine offer masks and informational flyers for students and parents in schools.

In Gilmer, part of that process occurred this week as students returned to the buildings to collect left-behind belongings. Planned in April, the Board of Education and Superintendent had the day set in order to offer a better sense of closure to the school year as the virus ended normal classes mid-semester. But as they returned, they were met by some unexpected people.

Gilmer County’s Public Safety offered a statement today saying. “It’s nearly school-time with many preparations underway. Part of those preparations is helping our kids understand the importance of good health practices. Gilmer County Community Paramedicine, with the generosity of Parkside Ellijay Nursing Home, paired together for a fun project this week at our elementary and middle schools.”

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Students returned to school this week to collect belongings, but were met with Gilmer’s Community Paramedics offering a community support service during this time of viral outbreak.

The project was to meet students in the schools and hand out face masks and flyers. According to Public Safety, the Community Paramedicine team visited three of our schools across the county supplied with the generous donation of 1,000 face-covering masks donated by Parkside Ellijay, and 1,000 informational flyers in English and Spanish.

The team handed out all the masks and 700 of the flyers to students and parents who arrived over the three-day period to collect their end-of 2019 school year belongings.

Public Safety was grateful for its partners in the endeavor, saying, “Many thanks to Michael Feist, Director & Part-Owner of Parkside Ellijay for the wonderful donation of the face covering masks, and to Dr. Shanna Downs, School Superintendent, for allowing our Community Paramedicine team to conduct this very successful service to our school children.”

 

 

 

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A helping-hand gets sanitized amid health concerns

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GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Many have taken time in the recent weeks to say a special thank you to law-enforcement and emergency workers who are still at risk and cannot always maintain a “social distance” during their work.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Ellijay Police Department.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Ellijay Police Department.

This week saw another highlight in the community as two business owners stepped up to not only say thank you to those in service, but to provide a real need for them.

Laura Thomas is the owner and founder of Green Willow Soap in Ellijay. Her and her staff have been working hard this week to provide hand sanitizer to the public safety agencies in Gilmer. In fact, Gilmer Fire & Rescue, Ellijay Police, Ellijay Fire, East Ellijay Police, and the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office have all received hand sanitizer for their agents.

Thomas said, “All of the First Responders have received hand sanitizer to help them through their difficult jobs. GOD Bless them and protect them as they serve the people of Gilmer County.”

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the East Ellijay Police Department.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the East Ellijay Police Department.

Heads of these agencies told FYN that the donation has answered a need as they have had difficulties purchasing and providing enough sanitizer during shortages. Creating and supplying the donation, Thomas said “My ladies have been working so hard to make this happen for our community.”

Gilmer County Fire & Rescue has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our private citizens, as well as our local business leaders.  On Wednesday 4/1/2020 Green Willow Soap generously donated around 100 bottles of individual hand sanitizers for each of our fire and rescue crew members.  This donation of hand sanitizer will greatly assist with our mission of keeping our hands clean when soap and water may not be readily available at the conclusion of a 911 call.  We greatly appreciate them thinking of us during a time when anti-bacterial supplies are in short demand and hard to obtain.”

Danny Postell and Huff's Drugs donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Sheriff's Office.

Danny Postell and Huff’s Drugs donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office.

But Green Willow Soap is not the only business answering this need. Gilmer Sheriff Stacy Nicholson said that earlier this month, around March 20, Danny Postell and Huff’s Drugs donated handmade hand sanitizer as well.

Sheriff Nicholson stated, “These generous donations of hand sanitizer have been huge in respect to our deputies’ safety.   We have had a hard time buying it because of the high demand.  But Huffs and Green Willow came through not only with the “product” but provided it in a manner that we could give individual bottles to deputies to keep with them.  The donation from both was very much appreciated.”

Kauffman noted another donation for Gilmer Fire & Rescue saying, “We would also like to thank The Majestic Bee Bakery for dropping off boxes of individually wrapped cookies.  While it is a small gesture of kindness, the smiles from the crews are huge and show how much they appreciate these care packages.”

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Fire Rescue.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Fire & Rescue.

In addition to local businesses donating, Kauffman said they have had private citizens show their support in many ways.  Some of the items that have been donated to Gilmer County Fire Rescue include; N-95 face masks, surgical face masks, homemade face mask, gift cards, and baked goods.  Nicholson also pointed to several donations, the Sheriff’s office have added thank you notes to their social media for donations from Pizza King and Mindy K’s Bakery.

Gilmer’s public safety professionals have said they are very appreciative of our local citizens and businesses thinking of them and supporting them during this crisis.

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