Cherokee County Fire
& Emergency Services

Firefighter Completes Smoke Diver Course

December 18, 2018

A Cherokee County firefighter was recognized today at Fire Headquarters for his completion of the Georgia Smoke Diver course that was recently held at the Dalton Fire Department Training Center.

Justin Martin was recognized at Cherokee County Fire Headquarters today with a “Letter of Commendation” from Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather. Several of Matin’s co-workers were also in attendance.

Counting the firefighter who was recognized today, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services now has 46 firefighters who have completed the course. “We have certain qualifications that our firefighters have to meet in order for them to go through this course,” said Chief Prather.  “Once they have met the requirements, we assign them a mentor to help prepare them for the course.  Because of this, we have seen this to be a plus in helping our firefighters complete Smoke Divers and we have heard that other fire departments are looking into our program because of our success rate,” he added.

The Georgia Smoke Diver course is a six-day, 60 hour program designed for the experienced firefighter who desires realistic training in self-survival, firefighter rescue, advanced search & rescue, thermal imaging, emergency procedures, teamwork, discipline, team leadership, situational awareness and decision making as well as how to function within the elements of the Incident Command System.

The program condenses and replicates the extreme demands that may be placed on firefighters at any incident. Emphasis is placed on the day-to-day challenges firefighters face at structure fires, multiple-alarm fires and multiple fires within a single shift. These same principles can be applied to the performance of duties at natural disasters, catastrophic events and acts of terrorism. The course is a physically demanding and mentally challenging program. Its design allows each candidate to understand and manage their physical and mental limitations under safe but stressful realistic conditions. Coupled with constant situational awareness drills and forced decision making, the candidate gains condensed experience and therefore is able to operate more efficiently and safely at incidents. The program has a long history of improving the lives and careers of Georgia firefighters, as well as firefighters throughout the nation, through the emersion of servant leadership principles. The course is continually updated to stay on the leading edge of firefighting technology and firefighter safety while the core mission remains the same as developed in 1978.

Chief Prather congratulated Martin for a job “well done.”

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Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, presents a letter of commendation to Justin Martin.
Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, presents a letter of commendation to Justin Martin. (click image for slideshow)
Attending the event were (Left to right) Lt. Phillip Shrout, Sgt. Dan Jablonski, Martin and, Battalion Chief, Brian Ward.
Attending the event were (Left to right) Lt. Phillip Shrout, Sgt. Dan Jablonski, Martin and, Battalion Chief, Brian Ward.
Several coworkers with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services came out to congratulate Justin Martin on being a Smoke Diver.
Several coworkers with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services came out to congratulate Justin Martin on being a Smoke Diver.