Fiscal court hosts First Responders Dinner

by Photos by Les Nicholson

Judge Tommy Harmon and Mayor Steve Collins welcomed all the Clay County first responders in appreciation for their hard work and dedication with a First Responders Appreciation Meal.

Judge Harmon emphasized, “In the last few weeks, Clay County has faced two disasters that have threatened the safety of our citizens. The pipeline fire near Gabbards Fork was a critical situation that was handled with the utmost care and resolved by our skillful first responders in the safest way possible. The residents of Laurel Creek Nursing Home were relocated during this situation and returned smoothly after the threat was over, thanks to the swift and efficient actions of our first responders. A strong storm also tore through an apartment complex, leaving some citizens without a home. Once again, our first responders moved quickly and handled the situation smoothly, relocating families with agency support from the Red Cross, churches and other citizens of Clay County. The Daniel Boone Action Council provided for the hotel stays for citizens until other housing could be arranged. The work of our first responders is not just appreciated, it is crucial to the safety and well-being of our community. The Fiscal Court, myself, and Mayor Collins wanted to express our heartfelt thanks to those who are on the front line when disasters occur.”

The guest speaker for the evening was Tony L. Watson, Fire Chief, of the Pigeon Forge Fire Department. He shared a powerful account of the 2016 fires that swept through Gatlinburg/Sevierville, highlighting the importance of continuous training and leading with grace and kindness in the face of adversity. His message was a testament to the resilience and dedication of first responders, serving as a source of inspiration for all.

Judge Harmon and the fiscal court received accolades from several first responders and the Clay County Fire Alliance for their support of the fire departments throughout the county.