NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodThomasville


HOW THEY DID IT: Thomas County Emergency Services has highest staffing in years

Posted at 5:34 PM, Feb 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 17:34:36-05
  • The Thomas County Emergency Services program, Street to Stations, first class just completed their firefighter certification.
  • For the first time since before COVID Thomas County Emergency Services is almost fully staffed with over 90% employment.
  • Check out the video above to hear from one of the newest recruits!


There is a national shortage when it comes to firefighters.

The National Fire Protection Association reported back in 2020 during Covid numbers were the lowest that had been in nearly 3 decades.

That could all be changing for Thomas County.

"It's great to see the growth. It's great to see the individuals who find their way and grow within their way and become certified," said Lt. Lance Farlow, Thomas County Emergency Services.

For the first time since COVID-19 started, Thomas County Emergency Services is nearly fully staffed with over 90% of employment.

"Street to station was kind of birthed through…a problem," said Lt. Farlow.

You may remember me reporting about Street to Station back in August.

After suffering from staffing shortages, Thomas County Emergency Services decided to try a new recruitment initiative.

"We've had to try and reinvent the way that we recruit and find individuals to fill roles, to train them, to get them where they need to be," said Lt. Farlow.

The program takes people with no experience and gives them firefighter and EMT training.

So far, 7 recruits have completed phase 1 earning their firefighter certification.

That's not an easy task, just ask Fabian Hernandez.

"Whenever we go out on a call, we're showing up on someone's worst day. We're there to take control of that situation and help them as much as possible," said Fabian Hernandez, Firefighter, Thomas County Emergency Services.

Hernandez says helping people gives him fulfillment.
He's 19 years old.

"They call me the baby of station. They're very welcoming of me, they're very nice," said Hernandez.

Now with the new recruits officially in phase 2 of the program and undergoing their EMT training Lt. Farlow tells me he is looking forward to what's next for the agency.

SOT: Lt. Lance Farlow, Thomas County Emergency Services "It's always excellent to be a part of a winning team. Everyone enjoys that."

If given the green light the program is looking to begin their next cohort in September.