Meet Your Decatur Firefighters: Lieutenant Jeremy Storey

My name is Jeremy Storey and I was born in SW Atlanta, GA; I moved to Decatur,untitled Georgia      at the age of six, where I was raised. I attended Redan High school, then went to GA Perimeter College, where I received my associate’s degree in Fire Management. I then attended Georgia State University and received a bachelor’s degree in business. My career in the fire service began in 2005 with the City of Atlanta. I have two brothers, one sister and one daughter. My hobbies are reading, sports and physical training!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet Your CAPS Members: Roger Schuppert

We urge everyone to take a moment to check out this edition of “Meet Your CAPS Members.” Anyone who has been to an community event or met CAPS knows Roger. He would help anyone with anything, anytime. We’ve left Mr. Schuppert’s words as he wrote them because they give us some great insight into the life of a fascinating and accomplished community member.

“I have led many lives. Born Feb 14, 1947 in Milwaukee, moved around, spent my high school years in a little Texas town called Floydada and after graduation we moved to 15253445_206173583171655_4587200515605739349_nWaycross, Georgia, a forgettable town close to the Florida border. Shortly after, I enlisted in the US Air Force and ended up in Vietnam where I worked as a civil engineer doing various things, including pest control; I even spent a short stint in the post office. Nam wasn’t the hellhole I pictured it to be and I even got to know some of the local people. I shot no one and no one shot me and I came back in one piece and for, some reason, received the Air Force Commendation Medal.
When I got back I needed to do something so I applied to college-I wanted UGA but they weren’t accepting applications, so it was Georgia State University for me, where I eventually received three degrees,_BA in English, 1972, Masters in Education, 1977, and Masters in Journalism, 2000. I also worked at GSU for 30 years and retired in 2003.
While at GSU I worked with some colleagues who had done theater and film work and they encouraged me to do it. I demurred for the longest time but finally took the plunge and auditioned for a show. I didn’t get the part but I became the props person-the person who has to find pieces of furniture or other things to use in the show; I also became the stage manager for the show. I discovered that I was naturally good at it and at the end of the show I was given an award for technical contribution. You can imagine my surprise when someone who has never done this before gets an award. From that moment on I knew this was something I wanted to do and I did it for 25 years, receiving two more technical awards. I did a little bit of almost everything, from props, to light board op, sound board op, stage manager,crew chief backstage and I even got to be onstage a few times. What I loved most and what I did most, however, was build the sets and take them down again after the show. Some of my finest memories and lasting friendships came from that experience. So that’s a third life.
During my time at GSU I also appeared as an extra in a few films here in Atlanta. It was a lot of waiting around but I got to meet some stars-Gary Busey, John Cassavettes, Lawrence Fishburne and others. Life number 4.
Also while at GSU, I wrote for the student newspaper and had many articles published, mostly about film and theater and I did that for 10 years. I’ve also had some biographical research papers published, so as you can see, I’ve had a busy life.
When I retired, I needed something else to make my life fulfilling, as if it hasn’t been already, so I heard about the CAPS, program, joined the police CAPS eight years ago and fire CAPS 4 years ago; its one of the greatest decisions of my life; it gives my life a purpose besides taking up space and using up food and water. I love doing this work and I love this town.
So there’s a little about me. I am by nature shy and withdrawn but joining this program has definitely made me more sociable.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introducing Our Newest Firefighter, Sebastien Pean

file (4)25 year old FF. Sebastien Pean was born and raised in Haiti before moving to Miami, Florida where he attended Mater Lakes Academy High School. He later played college basketball in multiple states, but settled in Kansas City, Missouri where he graduated from Blue River Fire Academy in August of 2016.

Pean’s family consists of his mother, Alessandra Lemoire, and three sisters: Samantha, Corrine and Chloe. He also speaks French Creole and has moved to Georgia this August intending to start his career as a firefighter.

According to Pean “As a kid my mother always told me that if I knew how to start a fire, I better know how to put it out, and that stuck with me. My passion for the fire service is always in putting others first. I’ve always had that instinct for helping others, and the safety of others has always been a major thing for me. I couldn’t think of a better career to combine fire and safety into one.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introducing the Third of Our Three New Firefighters- Dustin Kurucar

Firefighter Kurucar attended Fayette County High School, then went on to study at file2Southern Crescent Technical College for Fire and EMS. During this time he worked as a landscaper, and a waiter/cook/ driver for a few years as well. This is Kurucar’s first firefighter job, and in his words, “Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a firefighter. This was definitely my number one goal and dream.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introducing the Second of Our Three New Firefighters- Kelvonte Byrd

Firefighter Byrd was born and raised in Miami Florida. He graduated from Miami Lakesfile Technical School in 2009 and moved to Georgia to pursue a career in firefighting. He worked as a volunteer firefighter in Metter Georgia for three years, and earned his EMT-I and Firefighter I certification at Ogeechee Technical College. He found a new opportunity to work as a firefighter in Riverdale, GA working with an “amazing crew, serving the community to the best of our abilities.”

In his own words, “I have always had a passion for helping others while searching for new ways to change the world. That’s what I plan to do at Decatur Fire.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introducing the First of Our Three New Firefighters- Bryan Diamond

Firefighter Diamond was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Miami, Florida. He file1attended Robert Morgan High School to study his second passion, music. He went on to attend Miami-Dade College for Paramedics/Fire. Immediately after obtaining his EMT certification, he was given the opportunity to work at Mercy Hospital in Miami, as an ER Technician, where his experience and love for the field grew.

As a child, career day at school was always exciting for Diamond because he knew he would get to meet local firefighters ride on the engine. In his own words, “This is the type of job I can see myself waking up to every day and performing. I enjoy helping people and I always love a challenge. What firefighters do has always amazed me. These are true heroes that do it unconditionally, for the love of humanity, and not for recognition. That’s who I’ve always wanted to be. I understand the dangers of this job, but also how gratifying the end result is if you are doing what you love at the end of the day.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fire Department Bio-Captain Ninetta Violante


The following words were written by Captain Violante, who insisted they would require heavy editing. We didn’t want to cut a thing from it.

“I grew up in Tallahassee Florida with a German mother and Italian father on 13 acres, and my infant seat sat under the pizza oven of my parents’ restaurant. Both parents are very hard workers and I am the same height as my father at 5’2, so I never thought I could not do anything because I was female or semi-short. I played sports from the time I could walk- soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball and softball. I was a straight A student and played all five Varsity sports in high school (and was Homecoming Queen –shhhhhh).

I always wanted to help people because that is the personality of my family. I went to Emory and played Soccer, Basketball, Cross-Country and Track. I trained for Officer Candidate School with the Marines and went to OCS between my Junior and Senior year of college. I declined my commissioning to become 2nd Lieutenant and went to California after graduation to work with people with HIV/AIDS. I found out I could not do much unless I volunteered or received my Masters degree. I got my personal training license. I worked in the TransAmerica building with an investment banking company, Montgomery Securities, of which I knew nothing. I saved up enough money to pay a company to let me go to Kenya and volunteer to do HIV/AIDS work.

I traveled more and returned to Emory to get my Masters in Public Health, with an emphasis in Policy because I thought it would be the greatest way to implement change. I went to Cuba to analyze their health care system. I graduated and wanted to work for CARE or WHO or the Carter Center. I could not get a job. I was temping with Randstaad and working for Berth Hunt. I had conversations with people and they suggested I put in for a firefighter position. I never knew any firefighters. I knew nothing of the job. I began thinking of how I could help people and my background in fitness and the medical field may be fitting. I became so excited and nervous about the job.I really wanted it. I interviewed with police, fire, and dispatch but chose fire.

Everybody has challenges at work and in life. Sometimes being short or female has made it hard. Sometimes I see women being compared to each other and increasing the competition between females or being pitted against each other. Even in boot camp, my platoon never came together because we each felt we had so much to prove and no short cuts would be acceptable. I still suffer from my own demons of feeling inadequate at times, of balancing being a mom and a firefighter, and I would not have ever been successful without the support I have received from people and family. It is amazing to me that the City of Decatur Fire Department has an African American Female Fire Chief and Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal and myself in top positions, and we all support one another. I also feel that we care and support the command staff, too. I care about the department and all of its people.

I still have a hard time separating work from my personal life because my job and the department are personal to me. I feel responsible for their behavior, their satisfaction, them. In the future, I want to continue to learn and grow as I feel I am still far from where I want to be as a person, as an employee, and as an officer. It is difficult to care for a son with Down syndrome, have a relationship, work, and go to additional training needed to maintain certifications or to enhance my own performance.

But I will give it all I have.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Safety Tips From the American Red Cross


Cooking is such a part of the holidays that we rarely see how dangerous it can actually be. Many of the alarms, structure fires and injuries that we see are the result of accidents in the kitchen. Take a moment to read this brief article from the American Red Cross to help you avoid additional holiday stress.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Use of Fireworks Banned During Drought


Lieutenant Jennifer Ross of the Decatur Police Department shared the following with us:

“On Monday, November 14, 2016, Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order banning the use of fireworks in 110 Georgia counties to include DeKalb County due to the current drought conditions. Please discontinue the use of fireworks until the ban is lifted. “

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet your CAPS Members, part 1

We’ve been intending to introduce our outstanding and dedicated Citizens Assisting Public Safety members for quite some time…so without further delay, Gwyneth Butera!

image“I was in the first Fire CAPS class … I heard about the program when I was in Decatur 101 after moving to COD – though I have lived in the county for almost 20 years now (Brookhaven then Pine Lake then Decatur). My “ride-along” day was on the day the department moved into the newly redone station – our first mission was to go to public works to get toilet paper and soap :) I followed with Police CAPS soon after. I also volunteer at the Red Cross. I often wonder how familiar our Fire Department is with the Red Cross and the fire programs (from prevention to recovery $$), and I’d be happy to be a contact.

More than you want to know but I’ll share:

1) I have a scanner and listen to Decatur Police and Fire all day long. I hear the good and the bad. I won’t ever say anything publicly, but I have lots of opinions on the communication gaps.
2) Much to my surprise, my beloved Capt Burton (now Chief Harping) married my HS senior daughter’s guidance counselor (whom we also love). So yes, there’s a bit of a small town feel here, and I love it.
3) I work from home (at the Artisan – 201 W. Ponce even though we are on Commerce — and I know how confusing that is). My smoke detector is unplugged (and yes, I’ve admitted that to Chief Harping) because it goes off when I am boiling water for pasta).
4) I have two teen girls at the high school, a husband (who bikes to Georgia Tech where he is a professor and who volunteers with the Decatur Makers), and various pets.

So, yes, FAR more than you need to know, but maybe it helps you get to know us as enthusiastic individuals….

I’d love to have “ride-a-long” weeks. Open houses for public and CAPS. Events to help DFD, CAPS, and the public to connect.”

We’ll work on that smoke detector issue;)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment