North Georgia Burn Ban Boosts Air Quality

A ban on outdoor burning begins May 1 in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. The Georgia Forestry Commission works with the state Environmental Protection Division annually to remind people that during the hot summer months, ground level ozone increases, which can negatively impact air quality and people’s health. Burning yard and land clearing debris may produce smoke and particulate matter that are linked to lung and heart disease in humans.

“From May through September, we all enjoy being outdoors,” said Frank Sorrells, Chief of Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Open burning is limited during these months to help improve air quality and reduce the risk of wildfire.”

Sorrells said Georgia’s ongoing drought has contributed to increased wildfire activity, and above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall are predicted for the next couple of months, especially in the southern and coastal regions. While campfires don’t fall under the burn ban, everyone is urged to be extremely cautious when doing any type of outdoor cooking or tending to campfires.

The burn ban will be in effect from May 1 – September 30, 2017. The 54 Georgia counties affected are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.

Residents in Georgia counties not included in the annual burn ban will continue to be required to secure a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission before conducting any outside burning, including prescribed burning. Permits can be requested online at GaTrees.org, or by calling 1-888-OK2-BURN. If conditions are safe for burning, permits will be automatically granted.

“We encourage everyone to become familiar with what types of open burning are allowed in their area,” said Sorrells. “The Georgia Forestry Commission will be closely monitoring weather and fire activity to keep Georgians and their property safe.”

For more information about annual summer burn restrictions, burn permits and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

Fire Hydrant Testing Starts April 20

The Social Circle Fire Department will begin flow testing fire hydrants starting Thursday April 20th. Testing will run through the end of May. Fire Crews will test between the hours of 8am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

The fire hydrant flow testing will affect streets in all areas of the city. During flow testing you may experience discolored water caused by the opening of the fire hydrants. If you experience discolored water you can clear it by opening a faucet and letting it run until the water clears.

Explorer Post 708 Boot Drive

Social Circle Fire Department Explorer Post 708 Boot Drive Saturday Feb 25, 9AM - 1PMSocial Circle Fire Explorers will be at the red light in the center of town Saturday morning 2/25  from 9-1 doing a boot drive to raise funds for uniforms and equipment for their post. Come by and help fill the boot.

Fire Explorers is a program operated at the fire department in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America. The program is open to male and female cadets age 14-21 to teach job skills associated with fire and medical emergency services.

Grant Money Funds Turn-out Gear for Fire Department

The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) awarded the City of Social Circle a check in the amount of $5200 for the purchase turn-out gear for the fire department.

The GMA Safety and Liability Management Grant program was introduced in 2000 to provide a financial incentive to assist members in improving their employee safety and general public liability loss control efforts through training and the purchase of equipment or services. Since the inception of the program, over 130 cities have received grant money through the program, over 500 grants were approved totaling nearly $1.5 million to fund items such as bulletproof vests, training videos, confined space entry equipment, reflective safety vests, fire department turnout gear and police department in-vehicle video systems. These grant funds have helped leverage the purchase of over $2.6 million in this type of equipment training.

Eileen Thomas, marketing field services representative with GMA who presented the check, said, “This program allows each city to stretch their budget dollars and provide a safer work environment for their employees.”

The Safety and Liability Management Grant program is made available to members of GMA’s property and liability insurance program (the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency) and GMA’s workers’ compensation insurance program (GMA Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance fund).

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, on-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its over 500 member cities.

The Fire Department also used a grant from the Walton County Healthcare Foundation to purchase the Jaws of Life.

Two Trucks Filled with Donations Headed to South Georgia

"We are blown away by the generosity of the residents and businesses in Social Circle," Fire Chief Ken Zaydel said as he prepared to leave for south Georgia with the items that were donated over the last few days.

Members of the Social Circle Fire Department got to see first-hand the damage done by a record number of tornadoes across south Georgia as they assisted with emergency response. Their desire to do more prompted a request of the community for donations. Donations filled a truck and a trailer.

Several full-time and volunteer members of the Fire Department will drive a truck donated by Vend-A-Matic and the Fire Department's trailer to take the items to those who were affected by the tornadoes last weekend.

We thank the City for their generosity.


Fire Department Helping South Georgia Tornado Victims

The Social Circle Fire Department is accepting donations to help south Georgia and support the people affected by the tornadoes.
We are accepting donations in the form of water, food (canned and boxed items), toiletries, baby items (formula, bottles, diapers), batteries, flashlights, blankets, jackets, caps, inflatable mattresses, sleeping bags, clothes for all ages (new or like new condition).
Please bring your donations to the Fire Station through Friday January 27th.
Please call the Fire Department at 770-464-0621 or email firechief@socialcirclega.com for more information.

Social Circle Ranked as 25th on list of 50 Safest Cities in Georgia

Social Circle was ranked by Safewise, a pioneer in unbiased home security reviews, as the 25th safest city in Georgia. Their 2017 report of The 50 Safest Cities in Georgia, released this week, uses FBI crime report statistics from 2015 and population data to calculate the number of violent crimes and property crimes per 1,000 residents. The ranking makes Social Circle the safest city in Walton County as the only other city in Walton County that appears on the list is Loganville, with a ranking of 32.

In 2016 Social Circle was ranked as the 36th safest city in Georgia.

25th Safest City in Georgia

Volunteer Firefighters Sought

Are you interested in helping your community?

The Social Circle Fire Department is looking for volunteer firefighters. The department offers free training, pay per call, and enrollment in Ga. Firefighters Pension Fund.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter there will be an organizational meeting on March 13, 2017, at 7 pm, at the Fire Station. Completed applications can be dropped off at the Fire Station or brought with you to the meeting.

To be eligible to be a volunteer firefighter you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete background check (no felonies within 10 years), and maintain a valid Ga. driver’s license.

For more information, contact Chief Ken Zaydel at 770-464-0621.