Thomson-McDuffie Fire and EMS held a ceremony to celebrate the promotions of four individuals last week.
Matt Neal was promoted to captain for firefighter paramedic and has been with the agency for seven years, having 10 total service years. Steven O’Pry was promoted to lieutenant firefighter paramedic and has been with the agency for two years, having years total in service. Benjamin Hobbs was promoted to lieutenant firefighter paramedic and has been with the agency for seven years and in emergency services for 10 years. Heath Rodgers was promoted to lieutenant firefighter advanced EMT and has been with the agency three years, with seven years of total service, according to Chief Stephen Sewell.
“These promotions kind of allow our agency to have adequate supervision out in the different stations and the shifts,” Sewell said. “When we merged in 2019, that was really the plan back then was to have these positions in place, but we’ve spent this time evaluating and looking to see who would be the most appropriate to kind of fill those slots. We still have a few more slots that we hope over the next year to make a few more promotions.”
Deputy Chief John Thigpen added that the supervision needs to be there.
“We evaluate daily everybody’s performance, and when these promotions are approved, we have a list of those that we can consider, and fill those slots as needed,” Thigpen said.
Sewell said the main reason for these promotions was dedication and attention to detail.
According to Sewell, they have implemented a pretty intensive inventory management system for the medical supplies and medication, so that they can track what’s being used and where through a computer program.
“It’s really taken a lot of work and all of these guys have stepped up to the plate with that and kind of helped implement that new program,” Sewell said. "So, that’s been like an eight-month process.”
Sewell said other reasons they were promoted include their ability to step up when any additional duties are required, they develop new ideas and they have great work attitudes.
“These guys come in, don’t matter what you ask them to do, they’re ready to get the job done,” Sewell said.