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Barrow fire vet honored as top in state

Special Photo  Firefighter Jeff Jones receiving his award from Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

Special Photo Firefighter Jeff Jones receiving his award from Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

WINDER -- A Barrow County veteran firefighter with a passion for enlightening youth was recently named Georgia's Firefighter of the Year.

Georgia's Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens honored Barrow County Emergency Services firefighter Jeff Jones for his commitment during the 19th annual "Life, Fire and Safety Awards Luncheon" Oct. 11.

Jones was nominated because of his dedication to both fire and EMS and the way Barrow County Emergency Services operates, said spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin. Jones is instrumental in working with firehouse software in order to create fire and EMS reporting sheets that help keep the department compliant in state reporting and medical billing, Dakin said.

What's more, Jones worked with the department's public education coordinator in starting a new program in a local high school, and he's known to frequent Apalachee High School several times a year to teach CPR.

"Starting this program last year, Jones has already taught over 100 students the proper way to perform CPR," Dakin said.

Praise for Jones didn't end there.

"(Jones) is well deserving of this prestigious award," department Chief Dennis Merrifield said in a statement. "We're proud to have him serve with us."