Meet New Recruit Ben Alexander


Ben Alexander is originally from Kansas City and moved to Georgia in 1990. He performed firefighting in the Navy for four years, is an EMT-A and was a firefighter with Fulton County for 2.5 years before joining us.


Firefighter Alexander attended Georgia State and earned his degree in exercise science. He enjoys kickboxing and outdoor activities.


Welcome to Decatur Fire and Rescue, Firefighter Alexander!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Firefighter Beth Sanford Graduates From Georgia Basic Firefighting at GPSTC


file (3)

Decatur Fire and Rescue officially welcomes aboard Firefighter Beth Sanford, who received the “most improved” award upon graduation. This arduous training is held at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.

“GPSTC’s Basic Firefighter Training program consists of 345 course hours and takes eight weeks to complete. In addition to the curriculum topics listed below, time will be devoted to additional practical exercises, administrative activities and testing.

Basic Firefighter Topic Course Hours
Firefighter Orientation & History 4
Firefighter Safety & Health 12
Fire Behavior 6
Building Construction 4
Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment 12
Portable Fire Extinguishers 10
Ropes & Knots 11
Rescue & Extrication 14
Forcible Entry 13
Ground Ladders 17
Ventilation 14
Water Supply 11
Fire Hose 13
Fire Streams 13
Fire Control 13
Wild Land Fire Control 10
Fire Detection, Alarm and Suppression 4
Loss Control 8
Protecting Fire Scene Evidence 4
Fire Department Communication 3
Basic Pre-Hospital Care for Firefighters 6
Live Fire Techniques 24
Hazmat Awareness 40”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Decatur Fire Stations are Both Now Registered as A “Safe Place”



What is “Safe Place”?
Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program for young people in need of immediate help and safety. As a community-based program, Safe Place designates businesses and organizations as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to youth in communities across the country. The City of Decatur Fire/Rescue Stations are now both registered as a “Safe Place” for young people. Our Yellow signs are ordered and will be up soon.

You may have seen the signs at other places, like QT gas stations who also partner with the organization. The recognizable logos are not worth while though if young people do not know these type of places exist.

Why do youth need Safe Place?
Youth may experience difficult problems during their young lives: abuse, neglect, family troubles, dangerous dating situations, bullying, homelessness, drug abuse, etc. These, among other problems, may lead young people to make difficult, and sometimes dangerous, decisions in an effort to escape what it is they are going through. Sometimes, youth feel they don’t belong, and leaving home is often not a choice they want to make. Yet, national agencies estimate that between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away from home each year.

No matter the reason, young people have a place to turn in times of need. Youth may visit any designated Safe Place site location and receive immediate help. They may also TXT 4 HELP to receive information about the closest Safe Place location and to chat with a professional for more help.
Children and teens deserve access to a Safe Place and a chance to work through their problems with the support of caring adults.

How Safe Place Works
If a young person needs immediate help, they can depend on any location with the Safe Place sign. The following steps describe how Safe Place is intended to work:
Step One – A young person enters a Safe Place and asks for help.
Step Two – The site employee finds a comfortable place for the youth to wait while they call the licensed Safe Place agency.
Step Three – Within 20-30 minutes or less, a qualified Safe Place volunteer or agency staff member will arrive to talk with the youth and, if necessary, provide transportation to the agency.
Step Four – Once at the agency, counselors meet with the youth and provide support. Agency staff makes sure the youth and their families receive the help and professional services they need.
How do youth learn about Safe Place? Most young people hear about Safe Place during school presentations. Each student is presented with a Safe Place information card that has the local Safe Place phone number and explains that Safe Place help is free and confidential. Teens also hear about the program through word of mouth, social media and public service announcements on radio or TV.

Click here for more information on Safe Place training.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

9/11 15th Anniversary Memorial Event

At 8:46 am the North Tower was hit. At 9:03 am the South Tower was hit.

It is a day in history the United States will never forget, and it is a day in history that will always hold a special significance for every fire department. To honor the 343 fallen firefighters we will host an event where we will ascend the Station One training tower 35 times (to symbolize the 2,071 steps of the World Trade Center) on September 11th, 2016. The climbing will commence at 9:59 am, when the South Tower fell. Climb as many or as few of the 35 times as you can. Light refreshments and water will be provided as we take this time to reflect upon the sacrifice of these brave firefighters as well as the loss of the police and civilian life during this tragedy 15 years ago.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Meet your City of Decatur Firefighters #2, Captain Chet Walker

I was born in Akron, Ohio; but I was raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. During my last years of high school (1988) my mother relocated to DeKalb County Georgia. I graduated from Redan High School in Stone Mountain Georgia and then attended DeKalb Technical walker2Institute for Commercial Art. After graduating, I began working for the City Of Decatur with Sanitation and the Public Works department in (1993). I moved from riding on the back of the truck to being an equipment operator for Decatur’s rear yard service. I enjoyed my job there but I always dreamt of being a firefighter. After a few years of working at Public Works, I heard of an opening with the fire department and applied. I had no firefighting experience, but I got the job. In the years following, several others from Public Works applied to the fire department.

I love learning and training. I attended every training opportunity I could from 1993-2008. I applied for, and successfully passed every promotional opportunity that was offered in the department. I have held every rank at Decatur Fire and Rescue, including Firefighter, Codes Enforcement Officer, Codes Enforcement Supervisor, Fire Apparatus Operator, Lieutenant and Captain / Shift Captain. My beautiful wife, Melissa Walker, and my 3 children (Cortez, Brandon and Chamari Walker) have always supported and encouraged me in my accomplishments.

I have truly seen the change of the fire service in my career. The focus has shifted from fire extinguishment to incorporating public safety and awareness. It is rewarding to work in a diverse community where our services are appreciated. Our department has made major changes in recent years. This is allowing the City of Decatur to become a pioneer fire department in many aspects. Our progressive fire organization is a benefit to residents, but it also gives firefighters the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. We are working hard to have the fire department mirror the city itself. We want to be a trailblazing department for others to emulate.

My strongest trait as an officer is the desire to give excellent customer service. I want to serve the citizens, the different city departments, and my firefighters. I want this department to be associated with honesty, integrity, teamwork and respect for all people. It is not just a job but a profession and it is important to me that people receive our profession in a positive way. I am honored to have served this city.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Girl Scouts Visit Decatur Fire and Rescue

Girl Scouts came to learn about first aid and CPR to work on their first aid badge. In order to receive the badge they had to learn how to put together a first aid kit.  Additionally, theyIMG_0909 were assigned to tell their families about the File of Life and Smart911 programs. Great job Girl Scouts!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are You Interested in Joining the Fire CAPS Team?

This Thursday, August 25th, will be an important date for those who would like to volunteer and be a vital part of our community.  The Citizens Assisting Public Safety will img-120821-01-600x400have a meeting at 7pm at Station One to discuss our vision for the Fire CAPS team and how it will assist the City of Decatur Fire and Rescue Department. Whether you are currently active with CAPS or simply interested in learning more about the program, we would love to have you attend this meeting and share your thoughts and questions.

If you know others in the community who like to be actively involved while learning and being part of a team, please let them know about this meeting.  For more information, click here. This video also gives a brief overview of the Fire CAPS program, but we are looking to even further expand the scope of opportunities to serve in our city.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Shout Out for School Safety!

DSC04944-300x225“This morning, August 12th, 2016, Winnona Park Elementary practiced its first fire drill. Principal Greg Wiseman had the alarm pulled at 8:15a.m. The elementary school teachers and children were exemplary in their evacuation of the school. The students and their instructors moved quietly but rapidly out of the building to safe distances away from the structure. Mr. Wiseman was proud of the fact the building was emptied in 2 minutes and 10 seconds, and every student was accounted for within 4 minutes. He was critiquing the situation to note where the school could improve safety and smooth exiting of personnel. The only area of improvement noted was for all doors to have their door stops removed so no doors were wedged open. This firefighter has a sneaky suspicion though that Mr. Wiseman may dress up as a fire for the next drill. He may try to throw a wrench in their consistent success and make the teachers think about what they would do if their standard plan could not work. The City of Decatur Fire/Rescue Department is proud of Winnona Park’s emphasis on safety and being prepared. Way to go Wildcats!”

Written by City of Decatur Fire/Rescue Captain Ninetta Violante

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Decatur Fire and Rescue Receives New Trauma Bags Through Grant

The City of Decatur Fire/Rescue Department received a grant from the The Georgia Trauma Commission for eight triage packs. The packs have several items for a mass casualty scenario. The packs will be utilized by first responders in the event that a large amount of people are injured and need to be sorted for treatment, care and transport. The contents include gloves, tourniquets , triage tape, emergency trauma dressings, nasal pharyngeal airways with lube, vent chest seals, compressed gauze, and shears. The grant also included a triage and tag system and an educational video. The City of Decatur Fire/Rescue Department is excited about the new bags and training materials.

Author:Captain Ninetta Violante image

Posted in Fire equipment, Fire training initiatives | 2 Comments

Decatur Fire and Police Work Together: Tactical Kits and Safe Needle Disposal

The City of Decatur Fire Department is excited to be working so closely with the police department through cross training. Sergeant Christensen from Fire and Sergeant Bellis from the Police Department met to discuss the new tactical medical kits the fire department prepared for PD. The two sergeants discussed every element of the kits’ use and contents. They agreed the kits will be of great value to the responding police officers when dealing with the rising occurrence of opioid over doses. The kits contain the auto injector of Naloxone as well as several items that would also serve to provide some body substance isolation for the officers while treating individuals. The kits will be critical when the police department responds to an emergency situation but it is not safe for the fire department to enter the area. These new supplies allow officers to aid in some massive trauma scenarios that may occur with victims or other officers.

In addition, the kits contain items such as clotting materials, trauma pads, tourniquets, gloves, masks, and eye protection, a value of approximately $700.00. The police department is now establishing an account with the medical supply company that the fire department uses so that PD can keep the bags current. The fire department gave a full- in service training to include written protocols, hands on training, and a question and answer portion. Both sergeants confirmed the training was not only helpful for this project but, it brought light to some other areas on which the fire department and the police department can work together and train. The police department has started a needle and drug disposal program that fire was able to assist with also. A disposal container and some basic safety precautions were distributed to PD to help make this new program safe and successful. Residents who take unused or expired medicines to the police department for proper disposal, now have a container for their needles as well.

  • These are but two examples where fire and police are coming together to work as teams in public safety for the good of City of Decatur residents. Both departments hope to do more projects and training in the upcoming future.
  • Author: Captain Ninetta Violante
  • image image image
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment