STATEMENT FROM EMA/911 DIRECTOR SHAWN ROGERS|
As the Director of Emergency Management and 911 for Cherokee County it is my responsibility to ensure that emergency calls are being received, dispatched, responded to, and mitigated in the most professional, efficient, and timely manner possible. Over the past year I have identified an issue that continues to be on-going. For years the Cedar Bluff Fire Department, a municipal department under the control of the Town of Cedar Bluff, has responded to calls for service in the unincorporated areas around the Cedar Bluff Town Limits. This includes several communities that share the same 35959 zip code. This area is defined as the Cedar Bluff Fire District.
According to data from Cherokee 911, the Cedar Bluff Fire Department has requested an alternate response by another fire department due to not having anyone available to respond to emergency calls twenty two (22) times in the last six (6) months. Eighteen (18) of those calls were dispatched to Gaylesville Fire Department and four (4) were dispatched to the Centre Fire Department during that time period. Each time this occurred it increased the response times to those emergencies by an average of 4 minutes, and to me that is unacceptable. The citizens of Cherokee County, especially in the affected areas, deserve better than that. Therefore, effective December 1, 2020 Cedar Bluff Fire Department will only respond to calls within the incorporated Town Limits of Cedar Bluff.
Centre Fire Department will pick up the Sand Valley area and Gaylesville Fire Department will be assigned to all other areas around the Cedar Bluff Town Limits to include AL Hwy 9 N to the stateline, Wildwood Cove, County Road 189, areas around Little River Marina, and County Road 75. As bad as I hate to see this happen let me assure each of you that this is at no fault to any of the Cedar Bluff Firefighters.
They have served the Town of Cedar Bluff and the residents inside their Fire District with honor, courage, and dedication.
For those who are affected by this change. There will be no lapse in coverage. You will just see a different fire department responding than what you’re used to. If you have any questions feel free to contact the Emergency Management Agency at 256-927-3367.
Shawn Rogers, Director
Cherokee County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security
Cherokee County 911