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TCFD, chief plan to get to know community

We sat down with Troup County Fire Chief John Ekaitis on Friday to see how things are going a few weeks into his new job.

As expected, it’s been a busy time as Ekaitis moved from Sumter County to Troup County and began learning this area and how the department operates. One of his big points is on being community-oriented, which we think is an important and worthy focus for the TCFD.

“We want to be meeting with people, taking our equipment and showing what we have, going to different groups, being with the community and just sharing our services with them,” Ekaitis said. “Our new motto is going to be ‘not perfect, but nothing less than excellence’ for the citizens of Troup County. The citizens own and basically pay for the service … it is the citizens’ fire department.”

He’s right. The fire department exists to serve the people of Troup County, whether that be via fire suppression, medical emergencies or other assistance. Most of the general public isn’t taking time out of their week to go to the Troup County Fire Department, nor do they have time to do so. That’s why it’s important for Ekaitis and the TCFD to get out in public to meet the men and women of Troup County.

Events like the LaGrange Police Department’s National Night Out, which is coming up on Oct. 8, are perfect for meeting people.

Many people in the general public have no clue what the average day is like for a firefighter, nor do many realize that most of the calls they respond to are actually medical calls. We’re sure many citizens would enjoy a chance to see the department’s equipment and to ask questions.

The LaGrange Fire Department does a great job with its annual citizens day each year, giving kids a chance to ask questions, ride on a fire truck and spray the water hoses.

The Troup Fire Department would be wise to consider something similar, as the LFD has had a lot of success with it.

We wish Ekaitis luck as he continues settling into his role at fire chief. We look forward to working with him.