Fire chief appointed to Georgia commission

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Describing his appointment as an honor, Cartersville Fire Chief Scott Carter recently was named to the Georgia State Indemnification Commission. He was among 21 board appointments and reappointments Gov. Nathan Deal announced Friday.

“I was informed about a month ago that I was being considered,” Carter said. “I received a call last week that Gov. Deal was asking me to serve. I was honored to be considered. I think it is important to give back and pay forward for our profession. Firefighters sacrifice every day in the line of duty. My humble service I can provide to this commission is the least I can do to give back.

“... I really appreciate the support of our staff within our department and my city administration,” Carter said. “It is because of their support that I am allowed to serve. I believe that Cartersville is well-respected across the state because of our people. I am humbled that Gov. Deal has asked me to serve, but I don’t think he chose me as much as he chose the good people I have been blessed to serve within Cartersville and Bartow County.”

With his fire service career spanning more than 33 years, Carter took the helm at the Cartersville Fire Department in 2009. Currently a member of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency Area 1 All-Hazard Council, he is a past president of the Georgia State Firefighters Association.

According to a news release from the city of Cartersville, “The Georgia State Indemnification provides a financial benefit for designated public officers and public school personnel who are disabled or killed in the line of duty. Benefits under the Public Officers Indemnification Fund include payments for permanent disability, supplemental income and for death. Eligible public officers include law enforcement officers, firefighters, prison guards, publicly employed emergency medical technicians, emergency management rescue specialists, state highway employees and active members of the Georgia National Guard, when called into service by the Governor. This program is governed by a commission designated by statute and administered by Department of Administrative Services or DOAS.”

As a member of the commission, Carter explained his role will be to provide a voice for Georgia’s fire service.

“The commission is responsible for overseeing the state indemnification program that is run by the Georgia Department of Administrative Services,” Carter said. “This is the program that assists firefighters, police officers and others types of public servants in Georgia when they become disabled or lose their life in the line of duty. I understand that my role will be the fire service voice for the state on this commission.

“I know that we will be doing case review and determination, but beyond that, I have not been told my responsibilities. Whatever we are asked to do, I simply will do my best to represent Georgia’s fire service. This is also important for our local community. I am sure that I will see best and worst practices in these reviews. I intend to increase my level of knowledge to help make our profession safer here in Cartersville.”

He continued, “Looking ahead, I know that there will be some tough decisions that will have to be made as a commission member. When a servant becomes severely injured or their life is lost, our job will be to determine if they are to receive benefits based on the statutes of Georgia and other regulations that may apply. Sad part of it is, many times the answer has been no to the request that fall out of the guidelines. I pray that I will be able to be a positive firefighter advocate.”