A Fiery Brotherhood


By Brittany Johnson

Putting out burning buildings, saving lives, and even delivering babies are some of the many duties Athens Clarke County firefighters have experienced on the job. But the amount of stress that goes into it, is one thing the public doesn’t see from these local heroes. They take on the huge task of putting their lives at risk every time they step into their uniform. 

“We see death and we see destruction of houses and contents and people’s belongings and things of that nature so that’s kind of the worst days on the job,” says Training Academy Captain John Scarborough. 

One of the most burdensome tasks for firefighters is going into burning buildings and not knowing if they are going to walk back out.

Lieutenant Shane Smith admits that it gets a little stressful keeping track of each fireman at all times.

“Once they go into the burning building you might not see them,” says Smith.

Captain John Scarborough, notes that although the job may be exciting, not knowing what’s going to happen next is always something he stresses about. 

“We’ve got a little bit of an adrenaline junkie in us so we thrive off of that adrenaline but at the same time the stress of the unknown is part of what the jobs all about,”  Scarborough exclaims.

The job may be stressful at times, but these men cope by relying on one another in times of need. Lieutenant Shane Smith joined the fire department 14 years ago, and to this day, he is proud to call his fellow firemen family. 

“All my other fellow firefighters, I just love ’em to death. At times, we go at it a little bit as family but I still love ’em,” Smith acknowledges. 

Battalion Chief Greg Amason is certain that teamwork is the most important aspect to a job like this. 

“It’s all about team and giving people respect to get respect. It’s definitely a team atmosphere because you can’t do this job alone,” Amason discloses. 

Captain Scarborough is confident there is no job that his fire department can’t figure out. 

“When in doubt send the fire department they will figure it out,” says Scarborough.

For more information on fire and emergency services, visit the International Association of Fire Fighters.

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