Local firefighters sworn in as Fire Marshals
by Shaka S. Lias
Feb 13, 2011 | 2189 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two Bartow County firefighters were recognized at the 39th annual Firefighters Recognition Day held recently at the state capitol.

Fire Marshal Mark Hathaway and Assistant Fire Marshal Eric Williams were sworn in by Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

Williams said it was a great honor to not only be recognized locally but also by the state.

"I was born and raised in Cartersville and never thought I'd be a firefighter, let alone a fire marshal," he said.

Williams said it's very important for him to uphold the safety of the citizens of Cartersville so that not only are the businesses protected but every citizen is as well.

Likewise, Hathaway said it's a responsibility he doesn't take lightly.

"I get the privilege to not only protect people's lives and property when something happens, but also the opportunity to prevent things from happening," he said.

Cartersville Chief Scott Carter said he is very proud of his men. Carter said they were promoted over a year ago, but the ceremonies at the capitol are only held annually.

As fire marshals, their job is to uphold state and local codes and ordinances.

"Any new structure that's being built in the city of Cartersville, they are involved in it," Carter said. They are also involved in fire prevention and life safety.

Chief Carter, who serves as president of the Georgia State Firefighter Association, said the ceremony was very exciting. This was his first time speaking at the ceremony since becoming president.

He called the experience humbling.

"Anytime someone stops and says thank you is great," he said.

He told firefighters, "This is your day; many will call you heroes, we will call ourselves servants."

Firefighters from the City of Cartersville Fire Department and Bartow County Fire Department were in attendance as were others from around the state. Resolutions were presented to the group by the House, the Senate, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and Gov. Nathan Deal. The program included remarks from Cartersville Fire Department Training Chief Ronnie Cowart, who also serves as Chaplain for the GSFA.