On behalf of the Stone Creek Board of Directors, I am writing to you regarding a matter of great importance.
As most of you know, we had another home burn down in our community early last Sunday morning. Fortunately, no human lives were lost, but the family did lose three pets and literally all of their possessions. Had one of the dogs not awakened the family, we likely would have had the loss of human life.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this family. I happen to know them personally (as do many of you) and my heart breaks.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this tragedy is the response time of the Fire Department. It was approximately 20 minutes from the time 911 received the call until the time the first fire truck arrived. Let me be clear- in no way am I or any member of our Board of Directors criticizing the fine men and women who risk their lives to be volunteer firemen. They are true heroes and deserve high praise for what they do. They got to the fire as fast as possible and did a great job in keeping it from spreading to nearby homes.
Our concern as a board is that we have had four fires in the last few years and all four houses burned completely down. We believe this is due at least in part because we have only volunteer, not full time fire protection. In the current system, the volunteers are alerted by emergency services, travel to the firehouse from their homes, man the truck and then go to the fire. Considering these factors, its amazing that they can get to the fire in 20 minutes.
In recent discussions with some residents, it is clear that some of you might not be aware of our current fire protection situation. We do not have a full time fire department that is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week in northern Lowndes County. If we had a full time fire department at the current location of the volunteer fire department, it is reasonable to believe that the firemen could have easily made it to the burning home in 5 minutes or less. The travel distance from the fire department building to the home that burned is less than 2 miles.
This is not a Stone Creek issue alone. It affects all of our neighbors in Grove Point, Northlake, Foxborough along with all the homes and businesses in our area. We have reached out to these communities to join us in our effort to bring attention to this issue.
Our call to action is for each of you to sign our online petition that will be given to the county commissioners. A link to the petition is below. Please take time to do this and encourage your neighbors to do so. The only way we can ever get a full time fire station is to bring pressure on our elected officials. We are also working with other POA’s in our area to get as many signatures as possible.
I have had multiple conversations with our County Commissioner, Scott Orenstein and he has assured me that he is doing everything possible to address our concerns. Currently, he and Commissioner Clay Griner are researching the requirements regarding a manned station at North Lowndes. It is crucial that you reach out to them and share your feelings on this matter. You can call their office at 229-671-2442 and leave a message with their assistant or, better yet, email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org and Clay at email@example.com. Feel free to also email Chairman Slaughter at firstname.lastname@example.org.I can assure you that these people will take your concerns seriously and they will be responsive; but you have to let them know that this is a life safety issue that needs to be addressed sooner than later. Please don’t present in a threatening manner or be disrespectful I simply want our tax dollars to be used for the protection of our citizens.
Thank you all in advance for your participation.
Chairman-Stone Creek Property Owners Association