Dalton Firefighters Promoted

By Bruce Frazier:


Twelve Promotions Approved

Twelve Dalton firefighters had their promotions or reassignments approved by the Public Safety Commission at the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday. The promotions filled positions left vacant by recent retirements and promotions.

Keith Dempsey was promoted to Training Division Coordinator, replacing Deputy Chief Ricky Busby. Dempsey had served as an assistant in the Training Division since June of 2005. He joined the Dalton Fire Department in August 2003. He holds a master’s degree in fire and emergency management from Oklahoma State University and holds an Executive Fire Officer designation from the National Fire Academy. He is a graduate of the prestigious FLAMES (Firefighters Laboring And Mastering Essential Skills) program.

Chad Young was promoted to the rank of captain after serving as a lieutenant for six years. Captain Young has served the agency since March 2001. Captain Young has earned praise for his leadership skills since becoming an officer in 2011. Dalton Fire Chief Todd Pangle noted on Tuesday that Captain Young can operate all positions within the Suppression Division, making him a valuable asset as a leader.

Dan Hudson and Mike Ballew were both promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Lt. Hudson joined the fire department in November 2003 and has held the rank of Firefighter III since September 2014. In that role, Lt. Hudson has had an opportunity to serve as an officer in a fill-in role and has performed well. He is a Georgia Smoke Diver and a FLAMES graduate. Lt. Ballew joined the DFD in February 2001 and has served as a Firefighter III since August 2007, which also gave him the opportunity to serve as the officer in charge on a number of incidents.

Jason Suddeth and Matt Asbell were both promoted to the rank of Firefighter III. Suddeth has served the department since February 1999, serving in recent years as an engineer. Chief Pangle noted that Suddeth has gained experience in a great deal of different emergencies and has emerged as an informal leader in the department. Asbell joined the department in January 2003, also serving as an engineer until this morning’s promotion. Asbell is active in assisting with training and also assists with maintaining the department’s SCBA air tanks as an SCBA technician.

Firefighter IIs Ken Hostetler and Barry Gilley and Firefighter Dale Reed were all promoted to the rank of engineer. Engineer Hostetler joined the DFD in March 2006 and is a Georgia Smoke Diver. Engineer Gilley also joined in the agency in March 2006 and is a paramedic in addition to his firefighting duties. Engineer Reed has served the fire department since July 2011 and is a Georgia Smoke Diver and FLAMES graduate.

Firefighters Brandon Glass and Bobby Blackwell were both promoted to the rank of Firefighter II. Glass joined the DFD in January 2013 and is a Georgia Smoke Diver and FLAMES graduate. Blackwell has served since July 2011, and has worked to compile an impressive training profile while also serving as a relief driver on multiple occasions.

Engineer Scott Hearn was reassigned as an Inspector in the Preventions Division. Inspector Hearn has been working with the Preventions Division to gain all of the certifications needed to move into the role.

Each promotion was approved by a unanimous 3-0 vote of the Public Safety Commission. Commission members Carlos Calderin and Keith Whitworth did not attend Tuesday morning’s meeting.


DPD Officers Honored For Life-Saving Effort

The Public Safety Commission also recognized three Dalton Police Department officers for their role in saving a man who stopped breathing at the Dalton Fairgrounds in June. Assistant Chief Cliff Cason presented a certificate of recognition from the American Heart Association to Sergeant Woody Cantrell and Officers Dexter Kapur and Blake Edwards.

The officers were dispatched to the North Georgia Fairgrounds at 500 Legion Drive on June 6th at approximately 8:00 pm with a report of a man who had stopped breathing. When Officer Dexter Kapur arrived, he found a 65-year old man unresponsive on the ground. Officer Kapur began to give chest compressions to the patient and continued while Sergeant Woody Cantrell set up an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the patient. The AED analyzed the patient’s vitals and advised that the patient needed a shock, which Sergeant Cantrell delivered. After the shock, the patient began to gasp for air and Officer Blake Edwards began to deliver air using a CPR mask while Officer Kapur resumed chest compressions. The officers continued CPR until Dalton firefighters and Hamilton EMS paramedics arrived to take over the patient’s care. The patient was transported with normal heart and respiration rates to Hamilton Medical Center and was expected to make a full recovery.

The Dalton Public Safety Commission is comprised of Chairman William B. Weaver, Carlos Calderin, Terry Mathis, Keith Whitworth, and Kenneth E. Willis.

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