Cities, county, and fire department iron out a plan for hydrants


BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD), the cities, and the water authority developed an effective plan to fix current and future out of service hydrants.

In the July 8 meeting, Fire Chief Larry Thomas led representatives from Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Morganton, and Fannin County Water Authority to fix the hydrant issue before the next ISO evaluation.

“The fire department always had a very good working rapport with all the cities,” said Thomas. “We’re all in this together. Everybody in this room needs to pull together as one team.”

Fire Chief Larry Thomas stated that “positive things were happening” during the meeting.

Currently, an estimated 36 fire hydrants are out of service within Fannin County, but the city of Blue Ridge repaired three more.

FCFD created a spreadsheet that listed and located every hydrant within the county. The new directory also identified who’s responsible for each fireplug. Previously, FCFD listed each hydrant by address. The fire department cross-referenced the fireplug addresses with the incident to find the closest one available.

The city of Blue Ridge has approximately 490 hydrants in its geographic information system (GIS) system and are working on physically numbering each one. The fire plugs in Blue Ridge will also be marked with a “B”, so FCFD can identify who’s responsible for the hydrant’s maintenance.

As far as bush hogs potentially damaging hydrants, they proposed added a 12×12 inch square on the inside of the fog line on county roads. Hopefully, it would increase hydrant visibility.

Currently, Blue Ridge has seven hydrants out of service, but repairs should be complete by the end of the month.

A dripping hydrant shouldn’t affect the county’s ISO rating unless it disrupts the flow.

“Some of these hydrants are going to drip. They’re older than I am,” explained Thomas.

The three crews of two full-time firefighters inspecting hydrants will include any impairment that affects performance. Cities or water authority wouldn’t immediately know about the damage because fire plugs break away from the main water line if impaired.

Thomas asked if the water authority or cities add hydrants to inform the FCFD immediately.
Blue Ridge’s Utility Director Rebecca Harkins and Thomas planned to create a work order for FCFD, cities, and the water authority to report out of service hydrants.

Mayor Thomas Seabolt of McCaysville.

The group also addressed flow tests, which measure the static pressure when two hydrants can flow at maximum speed. However, once a flow test begins, it must flow it until it clears. After the initial flow test, once a year, it should be checked, and the city is responsible for any maintenance.

Blue Ridge Mayor Donna Whitener requested if the city could know about flow tests in advance so businesses could be informed well in advance. She also asked if the tests could take place outside of the lunch or dinner times.

Another meeting will take place either in August or September to ensure all hydrants are in service.


Update : $700 reward offered in fire station burglary case

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Two anonymous donors have stepped forward to up the reward being offered for information leading to the conviction of the person(s) involved in the burglary of Fannin County Fire Station No. 6.

According to Fannin County Fire Chief Larry Thomas these donors stepped up to help shortly after news was released of the theft. The total reward being offered is now $700.

“I’m very grateful for these donors,” Thomas said of the increase in reward money and added, “I’m also very thankful for the response from the community in helping to get the word out.”

If you have any information regarding the burglary please contact the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-632-2044 or email

Original Story

The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) is asking for public assistance to locate the individual or individuals responsible for a burglary at Fannin County Fire Station No. 6.

FCSO published a post to Facebook offering a $500 reward for any information that leads to the conviction of the person(s) involved.

Original Post by FCSO :

A $500.00 reward is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for a recent burglary at Fannin County Fire Station No. 6. The fire station is located at 4793 Highway 2, Epworth, GA.

This incident took place between May 19 – May 20, 2020. Items stolen include a Stihl chainsaw, Red EMS jump bag, Dewalt pressure washer, Rigid Sawzall, and 100 ft. extension cord.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-632-2044. Tips may also be submitted to:

Many of the items that were stolen had been purchased through donations to the Fannin County Volunteer Fire Department.

“It’s just really disappointing,” Fannin County Fire Chief Larry Thomas spoke of the theft adding, “Some the tools taken are tools that we depend on in emergency situations where every minute counts.”

If you have any information regarding the burglary please contact the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-632-2044 or email



Natalie Kissel

Back to Top

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!