published Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Hamilton County honors employees

Hamilton County Commissioners during a commission meeting in this file photo.
Hamilton County Commissioners during a commission meeting in this file photo.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ALSO WEDNESDAY

In other business, commissioners:

• Approved a five-year master plan for the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department necessary to apply for state environmental grants.

• Voted to rezone a property at 9160 Ooltewah-Georgetown Road from R-5 manufactured home district to R-1 single-family residential.

• Agreed to allow the Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department to sell a 1985 Ford tanker truck it owns jointly with the county.

• Granted easements to the Tennessee Valley Authority for a "falling water" siren to be built next to the Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department on Levi Road and a water line already in place at Enterprise South industrial park.

• Affirmed Coppinger's appointment of Alecia Poe as director of county human resources.

It was all cheers and no jeers at the Hamilton County Commission meeting Wednesday.

A Chester Frost Park ranger and several others were honored before the commission's nine-item agenda was passed with little discussion or debate.

On June 14, ranger Ken Fairchild responded to a call that a car had driven into Dallas Bay at Chester Frost Park. Fairchild is a ranger with the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department.

When he arrived, Fairchild found the car about 30 yards into the bay, with only about 18 inches above water.

After catching a ride with a nearby bass boater, Fairchild entered the water and rescued its unconscious occupant, taking her to emergency medical personnel and first responders on shore.

Mayor Jim Coppinger awarded Fairchild a "Focus on the Finest" Most Valuable Person award for his work.

"His calm demeanor no doubt defused a tense situation and probably saved a life. He is the most deserving of the Focus most-valuable award," Coppinger told commissioners.

Three women and one man who work in various county departments also were recognized. County telecommunication employee Amy Bailes, Juvenile Court Deputy Clerk Mary Cameron, network specialist Peter Gagliardi and Health Department social worker Jamiee Daily were honored for seeking further education while on staff.

Separately, commissioners passed a resolution recognizing John Harrison for his 17 years on the Hamilton County Health and Safety Board.

Commissioner Larry Henry, whose wife is on the board, complimented members after the resolution was passed.

"I think my fellow commissioners will have to agree, the health and safety board is one of the hardest-working boards in Hamilton County," Henry said.

Chairman Fred Skillern also praised the board and Harrison for their work.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at 423-757-6481 or at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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