October 10, 2005
About 60 firefighters will lose their jobs with North Columbia Fire and Rescue. News 12 is on your side with why Columbia County is eliminating the fire department in Appling.
One contractor will take over the unincorporated area of the county, and that’s the Martinez-Columbia Fire Department.
The men met Monday night to discus their job options. Martinez-Columbia will hire nineteen. McDuffie County may also take some of the men on board. Four of the nine stations will remain, and they will be manned by three firefighters from the county.
North Columbia Fire Chief Tom McFarland said the contract is up January 1, 2006, and their last work date is still up in the air.
The chief will recommend that each firefighter going to McDuffie County will go with a full set of gear and a radio. He says there will be a lot of excess because Martinez-Columbia has its own equipment.
This only affects the unincorporated areas of Columbia County. Since Harlem and Grovetown are incorporated cities, this does not apply to them. North Columbia Fire and Rescue has a Halloween-fest for kids every year on October 29 and this month will be the last one.