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DeKalb Co. Fire Dept. Recognized as Gold Level Department for 2019-2020 Training Achievements

September 28, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department is the #1 all-volunteer fire department in the state of Tennessee for 2019-2020 training achievement. Of the 732 fire departments in Tennessee, both volunteer and career, DeKalb County Fire Department ranked # 22 for 2019-2020 training achievement.

This is the 12th consecutive year the DeKalb County Fire Department has been recognized as one of Tennessee’s elite fire departments for outstanding training achievement. This year, the department logged 2,131 training hours at the state fire academy and was recognized as a Gold Level fire department in Tennessee for 2019-2020.

DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling commended the department’s members and leaders for continuing to make the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s training program a legacy of excellence. “Our county takes great pride in the level of commitment and service that we continue to see year after year from our volunteer firefighters who work hard and train hard to make sure our citizens have good fire protection here in DeKalb County. Getting this kind of statewide recognition for the 12th consecutive year makes it very clear that we have an excellent group of committed men and women who sacrifice many hours to be prepared to respond to the emergency needs of our citizens,” said Mayor Stribling.

Chief Donny Green said he wants to personally commend Captain Brian Williams, the department’s Training Officer, for his leadership, planning and coordination of the department’s training activities in a manner that consistently spotlights the training program as among the top in the state; volunteer or career. The Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy provides excellent training programs delivered by professional and knowledgeable campus and field instructors. In addition to the 2,131 hours at the Academy, Captain Williams coordinated over 2,500 man hours of in “in-house” training. Chief Green said that without the support of County Mayor Stribling, the County Commission, the families of volunteer firefighters, the community and business partners, and the citizens of DeKalb County, the department could not have achieved this milestone. “Properly trained firefighters are the best tools available to any fire department. Without proper training, the best and most expensive equipment is useless. However, good training coupled with good equipment is priceless,” said Chief Green. Training performance and documentation are core elements in the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) property protection that determine how much property owner’s have to pay in homeowners insurance premiums. The DeKalb County Fire Department’s proven commitment to training and emergency response has resulted in a dramatic improvement to DeKalb County’s Public Protection Classification Rating of Class 6 for all areas of DeKalb County located within 5 road miles of one of the department’s 12 stations.

If you are interested in learning more about the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, or would like information on how to be a member of our team, you can visit the Department’s website at:, or call 615-464-7176. You can also visit the Department’s FaceBook group page.

Elite Club 2019-2020

Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue 11,192
Smyrna Fire Department 9,448
Nashville Fire Department 6,467
Williamson County Fire & Rescue 6,063
Johnson City Fire Department 5,763
Wilson County Fire Department 4,772
Lebanon Fire Department 4,400
Hendersonville Fire Department 4,310
Kingsport Fire Department 4,006

Cookeville Fire Department 3,793
Columbia Fire & Rescue 3,662
Martin Fire Department 2,905
Brentwood Fire & Rescue 2,824
Milan Fire Department 2,821
Franklin Fire Department 2,805
Tullahoma Fire Department 2,660
Fayetteville Fire Department 2,528
Sevierville Fire Department 2,325
LaVergne Fire Department 2,314
Pigeon Forge Fire Department 2,293
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue 2,240
DeKalb County Fire Department 2,131
Hardin County Fire Department 2,008

Putnam County Fire Department 1,814
Bartlett Fire Department 1,773
Clarksville Fire & Rescue 1,744
Greeneville Fire Department 1,683
Collierville Fire Department 1,641
Loudon County Fire & Rescue 1,639
Shelbyville Fire Department 1,634
Memphis Fire Department 1,619
Germantown Fire Department 1,614
Lenoir City Fire Department 1,554
Manchester Fire Department 1,545
Rutherford County Fire & Rescue 1,504
Bristol Fire Department 1,440
Jefferson City Fire Department 1,410
Elizabethton Fire Department 1,409
Jasper Highlands VFD 1,376
Pleasant View VFD 1,365
Bedford County Fire Department 1,324
Lincoln County VFD 1,263
Warriors Path VFD 1,249
McMinnville Fire Department 1,234
Lawrenceburg Fire Department 1,167
Maury County Rural Fire Department 1,138
Dyersburg Fire Department 1,137
New Market VFD 1,132
Maryville Fire Department 1,120
Selmer Fire Department 1,108
Cumberland County Fire Department 1,104
Sparta Fire Department 1,069
Oak Ridge Fire Department 1,029
Karns VFD 1,016

DTC’s Efforts in Building World Class Fiber Optic Network Paying Off Today

September 27, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Since implementing a plan a few years ago to build a world class fiber optic network in its service area, DTC Communications has made significant progress toward that goal and today more customers are taking advantage of it.

In his address during the annual meeting Saturday, Chris Townson, CEO of DTC Communications, commended the Board of Directors for their foresight and commitment to rebuilding the network with fiber optic technology. A decision that has paid off in many ways especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that no one could have envisioned when the project began.

“I stand before you today to report that your cooperative continues to move forward as we connect thousands of local residents and businesses to a world-class fiber optic network at an affordable price. This is great news, because never has the need for broadband connectivity been more important or more recognized than it is today,” said Townson.

“Just one year ago, none of us could have predicted a global pandemic or the disruption it would have caused all across the world. In our own communities, we saw its effects on businesses, schools, governments, and even in our homes. Our means of connectivity shifted in many ways to rely more and more on digital platforms”.

“I don’t think we could have dreamed of conducting most of our business, educating our children, or even going to the doctor or church virtually, but most of us have done one or more of these in some form or another recently. And during these tough times, the human need for connectivity did not change – it just became more apparent”.

“I am proud to report that this board of directors was looking out for the people in our area when they had the foresight just a few years ago to take the measured risk to rebuild our network with fiber optics. Their decision is already paying off today. Their service to this cooperative and the communities it serves has been proven as a critical one as we have seen our broadband internet usage increase over 200% in the past year. Additionally, the use of broadband for educating our kids and entertaining our families increased dramatically. All the while, working from home became the most used application on our network. If I may, being connected has become serious
business. And that is why we continue to build and connect each member as quickly as feasible”.

“In his address, Mr. (Roy Nelson) Pugh, DTC Board President, mentioned the continued growth of our fiber network and positioning our company for future success. I will confirm his comments by reporting that in 2019, DTC built more than 450 miles of new fiber optic lines while passing more than 4,100 homes and businesses. We connected more than 1,600 members to fiber, and added more than 600 brand new customers to the DTC network. But to take a bigger look, from the beginning of 2017 through 2019, we saw a 15% increase in total internet customers, built over 1,100 miles of new fiber lines, and we’re now over one year ahead on our initial projections for overbuild and connectivity. We are still on target to complete the first three phases of the Cooperative Fiber Overbuild and make fiber available to approximately 75% of our membership by late 2021,” said Townson.

“Please know that DTC’s employees play a key role in our achievements, and the progress we have made could not happen without their selfless commitment, knowledge and hard work”.

“Under this Board’s direction, and with careful planning and project management, we have also continued to improve the cooperative’s financial performance while building for the future, and enabling improved connectivity and service directly to our membership”.

“Thank you Board for your diligence in directing this cooperative and working so hard for our communities. Thank you, DTC employees for your dedication and hard work to serve our members. Thank you Members for participating in the cooperative process,” said Townson.

In his remarks, DTC Board President Roy Nelson Pugh said “I am pleased to report that in 2019 DTC continued to grow our world class fiber network and position our cooperative for future success. In our annual report you will find an updated map (also shown here) showing the progress we have made in this last year. It also shows plans for construction for areas in 2021. While I know that this still leaves some areas waiting on fiber, please know that the entire organization is working extremely hard to reach everyone as quickly as possible even during the adversity we are seeing this year and I am referring to COVID-19 and all the storms the state has had which has affected DTC. As your elected Board of Directors we take seriously the duty to ensure this cooperative is operating in a manner that may serve our communities for generations to come. It is our pleasure to report that the cooperative is being operated on sound operational and financial principals. I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their service, our dedicated employees for their hard work and continued support, and our members for their continued investment in this cooperative and its mission,” said Pugh.

Meanwhile, DTC Communications (DeKalb Telephone Cooperative) Directors up for re-election Saturday during the annual meeting won new terms without opposition including Incumbents Jim Vinson – Milton exchange with 72 votes;, Terry McPeak – Norene exchange with 70 votes; and Brian Alexander – Woodbury exchange with 73 votes.

Leah Brooke Davis is the 2020 DCHS Homecoming Queen

September 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The 2020 Homecoming Queen at DeKalb County High School is Leah Brooke Davis.

A senior, Davis is the 17 year old daughter of Kerry and Glenda Davis.

Davis’ clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:

Member of the DCHS ACT 21+ Club; Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success; DCHS Class of 2021 Vice President; Student Government Association-Spirit Committee Chairman; Beta Club; Future Business Leaders of America; Literature Club; Science Club; and Climate Crew.

Athletic Participation:
DCHS Tennis Team; DCHS Lady Tigers Basketball; and DCHS Football Cheerleading

2020 American Legion Auxiliary Volunteer Girls State Delegate; Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner; DCHS Junior Usher for 2020 Graduation; DCHS Junior Class of 2021 Class Favorite; and DCHS Freshman Homecoming Attendant

Other information (Church and Community Involvement):
Member of Upper Helton Baptist Church in Alexandria; Volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity; and Future plans include attending the University of Tennessee Knoxville to major in business.

The Homecoming Attendants are:
*Senior Attendant –Presley Suzanne Agee, the 17 year old daughter of Michael and Kelly Agee.

Agee’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
Member of HOSA Club, Beta Club, and FBLA

Athletic Participation:
Captain of the football and basketball cheer teams and baseball manager her freshman and sophomore years.

Most Valuable Cheerleader her junior year; Best Cheer award winner her sophomore year and Best Jumps award winner her freshman year; All-American Cheerleader

Other information (Church and Community Involvement):
Member of the Outreach Baptist Church

*Senior Attendant- Alexis Catherine Cudney, the 17 year old daughter of Marnie Horton and Christian Cudney.

Cudney’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
Member of Beta Club and the Climate Crew

Athletic Participation:
4 year football manager

Cudney has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her high school career; at the end of her high school career, Cudney will have 27 dual enrollment hours completed through Motlow State Community College; Cudney was voted wittiest and most responsible by the DCHS football team her sophomore and junior years.

Other information:
Cudney is currently working two jobs, managing football, and completing three college courses through Motlow State Community College; after high school,, Cudney plans to attend Tennessee Tech University where she wants to major in education; Cudney’s dream is to become a middle school mathematics teacher but she wants to also stay involved with football; Cudney plans to go back to school after getting her teaching degree to study sports medicine and possible to become a trainer.

*Junior Attendant- Addison Jean Puckett, 16 year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett.

Puckett’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
Beta, HOSA, Literature Club, FCA, Spanish Club, and Climate Crew

Athletic Participation:
Football Cheerleader for 3 years and 3 years in Cheerleader Competition

Nominated for All American Cheerleader

Other information:
Puckett is actively involved at Outreach Baptist Church. She participated in Outreach with the OBC Youth. She enjoys participating in pageants, spending time with friends and family especially her niece and nephew

*Sophomore Attendant- Morgan Rhea Walker, the 15 year old daughter of Renee and Jason Walker

Walker’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
She is a member of the Beta and FBLA Clubs

Athletic Participation:
DeKalb County Tigerette Softballl for 2 years; football cheerleading for 2 years; and basketball cheerleading for 1 year.

DeKalb County Football Cheerleading D.E.A.R. Award winner

Other information (Church and Community Involvement):
She is a member of the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church and is active in the youth group.

*Freshman Attendant- Chloe Faith Lawson, the 14 year old daughter of Victoria Poteete and Adam Denney

Athletic Participation:
Football, Cheer, DCHS Softball, and Infinity Athletics

She was elected All American for 2 years and participated in travel softball for 3 years.

Spirit week activities will be held September 28 to October 2 at DCHS. The Homecoming Parade will take place Friday afternoon, October 2 and the Tiger Homecoming Football game will be at 7:00 p.m. that night against Livingston Academy. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game.

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