The history of the fire service in Cherokee County dates back to December 8th, 1973, when an all-volunteer group set up the first fire station in the Oak Grove community. In 1976, the Oak Grove station would become the first paid station in the County. The original fire station building was in operation until July 24, 2018, when the new building was officially opened. This new station provided up-to-date technology and features that greatly enhanced the quality of work and life for firefighters.
On May 13th, 1997, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners voted to allow a referendum of the public for the creation of a single fire district that would encompass all of Cherokee County, with the exception of any region already incorporated into a separate fire district. The citizens formally approved the fire district creation and Cherokee County Fire Department was born. After many years of growth and development, the fire service in Cherokee County transformed from an all-volunteer agency to a mix of volunteer and paid personnel, to the dynamic all risk life safety response provider it is today.
In the pursuit of continuous improvement, CCFES has set out to become an international accredited agency through a rigorous process set forth by the Center for Public Service Excellence (CPSI) and the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. It is through this self-examination that this department has identified critical strengths that will continue to be built upon, as well as weaknesses that are being monitored, evaluated and addressed.
Over the years, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services has strived to stay up to date with new technology and techniques while keeping a watchful eye on the needs and expectations of the citizens of Cherokee County. In alignment with national standards, the department has adapted to new challenges in the community by strategically adding new stations and programs, rigorously training its firefighters, and continuing to improve upon quality of service delivery.
Eddie’s career in the fire service began in 1979 as a volunteer in his home town of Rock Hill, South Carolina. After high school, he joined the United States Army and, subsequently, joined the United States Army Reserve where he advanced to become a Drill Sergeant. Eddie retired from the Army Reserves in 2002 as a First Sergeant.
After relocating to Georgia, he began his service to the citizens of Cherokee County at the Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department. His career service with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services began a few years later, in January of 1999. Shortly after, in 2001, Eddie was promoted to Safety Officer, and in 2009 he was appointed Division Chief of Training. In 2011, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief where he served until March of 2022. On March 12, 2022 Eddie was appointed as Fire Chief of Cherokee County, following the retirement of his long-time mentor, Fire Chief Tim Prather.
Chief Robinson has been dedicated to community volunteer service. Some of his service includes graduating from the Leadership Cherokee program, serving as the Leadership Cherokee Chair Person in 2008, and later became a member of the program’s steering committee. Chief Robinson has also served as lead advisor for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Explorer Post 469, who under his direction, received numerous awards at the annual Winterfest competitions. Chief Robinson is also responsible for spearheading the county's annual Patriot Day Ceremony, which is held each September in remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001.
Chief Robinson has earned many accolades that span his years serving in the Army and in the fire service. He earned 23 service ribbons from the U.S. Army, including The Drill Sergeant Badge, Meritorious Service Award and Governor's Unit Citation for Outstanding Service during and after Hurricane Hugo. In 2020, he earned the distinguished, Georgia Fire Chief Certification, from the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs. He has also attended numerous fire service training opportunities and is an active instructor for fire services throughout the state.
Chief Robinson and his wife Lorie have two children, Candace and Kenny. Kenny is currently serving as a full-time firefighter with Forsyth County and Pickens County. In addition, Chief Robinson has six grandchildren: Kody, Sadie, Macy, Gracey, Little Nick and Randy.
Shane West serves as the Deputy Chief of Support Services for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services.
Shane graduated from Cherokee High School and obtained his Fire Science degree. He is committed to continuous improvement and is pursuing higher levels of education and professional development in the area of leadership and business.
Chief Shane West has served the community and worked for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services since 1995. During his tenure with the department, he has been promoted through the ranks and worked at a variety of stations gaining valuable experience. He obtained his paramedic license, served as an instructor for both fire and medical education, successfully completed the Georgia Smoke Diver program, received the Georgia Chief Fire Officer certification, and has chaired several committees and projects to improve the departments success.
Shane was recognized by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners for the Outstanding Service Award for Cherokee County in 2011 and alumni of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cherokee program earning the prestigious Bob Frongillo “Magic Spark Plug” award.
Shane and his wife Natalee are the proud parents of four children, Heidi, Kyle, Andrew, Emersynn and grandparents of Grayson James and Evelynn Reece.
Chief Shane West can be contacted at [email protected] .
Chief Lanier became Deputy Chief of Operations in March 2022. Chief Lanier joined Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services in 2000, and through the years, he was assigned to several fire stations throughout the county.
In 2021, Lanier rose to the rank of Division Chief serving as the A-Shift Commander and in the same year became a certified Georgia Chief Fire Officer from the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs. Kevin is currently continuing his education at Columbia Southern University, working on his Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration.
Kevin is married to his wife, Alicia, for 19 years and together they are pround to have 3 daughters, Katelin (17), Kali (14) and Kara (11).
Mark Orr currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Personnel Services for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services.
Mark is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County and graduated from Cherokee High School and Reinhardt College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from McCamish School of Business. He is also an alumnus of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cherokee Program.
Mark became a volunteer firefighter for Cherokee County Station 6 in the Clayton Community in 1990 and started his career as a paid firefighter for Cherokee County in January of 1999. He worked his way through the ranks being promoted to Sergeant in 2002, Lieutenant in 2003, Captain in 2008, Battalion Chief in 2014, Shift Commander in 2017, and Deputy Chief in 2023. He has served in many capacities and on many committees to further the development of the fire service in the County.
Mark and his wife, Charlotte, have four children: Matt, Brian, Ashlyn, Blake and three grandchildren: Elias, Amelia and Elsie.
Dean Floyd's service with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services began in January 2017 after the merger with Canton Fire Department, where he serves as Deputy Chief of Community Risk Reduction. He currently holds Georgia Certifications as Firefighter, Fire Safety Educator, Fire Investigator and Fire Inspector.
Dean was raised in Cherokee County where he joined Circle Five Volunteer Fire Department as a Junior Firefighter at the age of 13. In 1988, he started his career in the fire service with Canton Fire Department. In 1996, he became a Fire Inspector and in 1997 he was sworn in by the Office of Georgia Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine, as a Local Fire Marshal. In 1999, he was promoted to Fire Marshal and in 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. From 2003 to 2017, he was honored to serve at the rank of Fire Chief for Canton Fire Department.
Dean and his wife Wanda have five children: Jessica, Matthew, Holly, David, and Kara, six grandchildren and they currently reside in Fannin County and attends Sugar Creek Baptist Church.
Nate Sullivan was born in Dallas, Tx and moved to Georgia in 1989. He graduated Etowah High School in 1995 and became a volunteer firefighter about that same time. In 1997, he was hired on at Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services.
Sullivan has served in many capacities through the years and was able to learn valuable skills and leadership lessons from each. Most recently, he served as the EMS Training officer for the department and was responsible for delivering EMS training to field personnel while also teaching Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) in the recruit program. Sullivan's notable achievement was leading and coordinating the Stop the Bleed initiative which involved working with the Cherokee County School District to train staff members in life saving bleeding control techniques and providing bleeding control kits in every public school in the county.
Sullivan is a member of several professional associations and has served as a technical expert on a national project studying the most appropriate prehospital treatment for opiate overdoses.
He is married to his wife, Leslie and they are the proud parents of 3 boys, Patrick, Riley, and Anthony.
Chief Daniel Carder currently serves as the Division Chief of Training with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services.
Daniel was born and raised in Murphy, NC and graduated from Hiwassee Dam High School in 1991. At the age of 19, he began volunteering with the Ranger Volunteer Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, he joined another volunteer agency, the Cherokee County (NC) Rescue Squad in his hometown. He worked for both departments for nearly 20 years serving his community, moving up through the ranks to the position of Chief of the Rescue Squad.
He first obtained his EMT in January of 1994, continued up to his Paramedic license in April 1996. With these certifications, he ventured into the world of EMS and patient transport with the county-based service for many years to come. He also obtained his A.A.S Degree in Emergency Sciences from Tri-County Community College in 2002.
Daniel joined Cherokee Fire & Emergency Services as a firefighter/paramedic in 1999. He has worked in all three battalions and promoted up to the rank of Sergeant in 2003, Lieutenant in 2010, Captain in 2019, Battalion Chief in 2022, and Division Chief in 2023. He was also assigned as a backup Med-Con several years in the early 2000’s.
He took a position in the Training Division in 2018 as a fire training coordinator and has remained in Training since.
Daniel and his wife Lisa live in Blue Ridge and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Marc Liscio serves as the Division Chief over Logistics for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services.
Marc graduated from Osborne High School and is currently working on his Fire Science degree.
Marc has served the community and worked for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services since 1998. He spent 21 years in the field serving the community and worked his way through the ranks in some of the busiest fire stations prior to being promoted to Battalion Chief.
Marc volunteered for 20 years with the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, serving the last 3 years as the director of Camp Oo-u-la, a summer camp for children with burns or injuries.
He is married to his wife, Jenny and they are the proud parents of 2 daughters, Kaleigh and Kinsey. Kaleigh is currently serving as a Cherokee County 911 Dispatcher.
Chief Chad Arp serves as the Fire Marshal in the Community Risk Reduction Division for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services. Chief Arp was born and raised in Jasper. He began his interest in firefighting at the age of 14 as a Junior Volunteer Firefighter, then as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Jasper Fire Department. After graduating from Pickens County High School in 1989 he began his career in the fire service working as a security guard/firefighter in a private community in Pickens County.
In 1994, Chad began working fulltime as a firefighter for the City of Canton Fire Department. He obtained EMT certification in 1996. During this time, he developed an interest with fire prevention and safety education.
In 1999, Chad was hired by Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services as a Fire and Life Safety Educator continuing his career by teaching fire and life safety programs to all ages using curriculum of all types to include robots, clowns and the county's Fire Safety House. He was promoted to Sergeant in Fire Prevention in 2000. In 2003, the programs expanded to include the Safe Kids Cherokee County Coalition, led by Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services, where he currently serves as the coalition coordinator. Under his direction the coalition has received numerous awards, accolades and special recognitions across the nation. In 2005, he was promoted to Captain as the department's Senior Fire Safety Educator. In addition to being a Senior Fire Safety Educator he serves on the Cherokee County Child Fatality Review Board as Prevention Advocate.
In 2006, Chad graduated Leadership Cherokee. In 2009, the Fire Prevention Office merged with the Fire Marshal's Office and relocated to the Cherokee County Administration Building. In addition to fire education duties he began conducting fire safety inspections and in 2014 he was promoted to Deputy Fire Marshal where he continued teaching fire safety education while also conducting fire inspection for new and existing buildings. In 2015, he was awarded the Outstanding Coordinator for the State of Georgia by Safe Kids Georgia.
During Chad's career with Cherokee County he has received many awards, commendations and special recognitions. He has attended many training classes around the state and country including the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg MD, and has obtained numerous certifications. In 2017, he obtained national certification as an NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist, CFPS. He was promoted to Battalion Chief level authority serving as Cherokee County’s Fire Marshal.
Chad and his wife Jennifer reside in Canton with their 4 children.
Chief Jamie McCord currently serves as Division Chief for B Shift. Jamie is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County graduating from Sequoyah High School in 1995. In 1995, he began volunteering with Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department. In 1997, Jamie graduated from Reinhardt College with an Associate of Science in Engineering and in 1999, he graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Jamie began his career with Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services in 2000. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2003, Lieutenant in 2008, Captain in 2017, Battalion Chief in 2019 and Division Chief in 2023. Jamie has worked on all three shifts and in all battalions within our agency. He obtained his Paramedic License in 2010 and spent 6 years at Fire Station 1 in the Oak Grove community.
Jamie and his wife Ashley married in 1999. They have three children: Kathryn, Jamie Jr. (JJ), and Jonah and reside in the Clayton Community.
Chief Ryan McElwee currently serves as Division Chief for C Shift. Ryan is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County graduating from Sequoyah High Scholl in 1994. He began his career with Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services in 1995. Since then, he has served at every field rank within the command structure with significant amount of time being dedicated to special operations.
Chief McElwee is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Cherokee and currently holds a BS in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University. He is a state of Georgia Certified Fire Chief and the recent recipient of the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Ryan and his wife Erica have 5 children and reside in the Macedonia community.
Hazardous Materials Team - Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services operates one of the most well trained and equipped hazardous materials teams in Georgia. The Hazardous Materials Team is staffed with full time firefighters and supported by volunteers who have received extensive training on a wide range of hazardous materials. The team responds to dozens of hazardous materials incidents across Cherokee County annually and to requests for assistance from other communities all across northern Georgia.
Dive Team - The Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Dive Team is made up of volunteers who are specially trained to perform rescue dive missions across Cherokee County and surrounding communities in northern Georgia. The team is equipped with the latest protective equipment, tools, a dive rescue truck and 3 rescue boats.
Search & Rescue Team - The Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Search & Rescue Team is made up of very highly trained volunteers who perform search & rescue operations in Cherokee County and areas all across Georgia. www.cherokeesar.org
Rope Rescue Team - The Rope Rescue Team performs high angle rescue missions using the latest and most advanced equipment possible. The team is made up of volunteers who receive hundreds of hours of training that enable them to safely complete each assignment.
Honor Guard - Formed in the year 2000, the Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Honor Guard is presently composed of 20 county firefighters. The Honor Guard is called upon to perform a variety of functions, including parades, opening ceremonies, and funerals for fallen fire and emergency service personnel. The Honor Guard has appeared at the Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary Celebration in Atlanta and presented the colors at a NASCAR event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The honor guard has also presented the colors during the opening day of baseball for the Atlanta Braves.
Explorers Post #469 - Explorer Post 469 is designed for high school students between 14 and 20 years of age. The Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Explorers Post was founded in 2001 with the goal to establish skills, knowledge, and experience for future careers in the fire and emergency services profession by participating in emergency calls and assisting in the community. Members of the Explorer Post attend weekly meetings at our Fire Training Complex and provide support at various Fire Department events. For more information regarding the Explorer program, contact Lt. Michael Sims by email at [email protected].
The Chaplain Response Unit - This unit was formed in May of 2007, to assist fire department personnel with the stresses and difficult calls that personnel handle in the fire service. The Chaplain Unit is a Non-Denominational group that is made up of ministers in the county. The team also helps in spiritual guidance, family life, and assist citizens in the county when faced with the unexpected death of a loved one. The team also is a part of the Critical Incident Stress Team for Cherokee County, takes part in The Ghost Out programs with Safe Kids of Cherokee and also has been to other counties in the state to help with fire departments that do not have a Chaplain in their county. When a Chaplain meets with anyone the information is kept confidential between the individual, personnel, and family members and the Chaplain. To contact a Chaplain call dispatch and ask them to page a Chaplain, or email [email protected].