Cherokee County Fire
& Emergency Services

Retirement of Fred Dobson is the End of an Era

July 9, 2019

Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services hosted a dinner last night at the Ball Ground Community Center to honor Battalion Chief, Fred Dobson, who is retiring from the fire department after many years of service.

Dobson became a volunteer firefighter at the Little River Fire Station in Cherokee County in 1978. It was during this time, when the majority of Cherokee County was covered by volunteer firefighters who responded to the emergency needs of its citizens. Several years later, Cherokee County worked with these departments and took them over in order to have full-time staffing which made response times better. It also allowed firefighters to have more extensive training in firefighting skills as well as emergency care, too. As the changes occurred, several of the volunteer firefighters would later become full-time firefighters for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services. One of these firefighters was Fred Dobson. Dobson had a long career as a firefighter in Cherokee County and when retired last Thursday he became the last of the original Little River firefighters to retire for the department

Last night was Fred’s night as fellow firefighters, family and friends came to enjoy dinner and to honor the career of a man who loved helping people in a time of need. After the dinner, a slide-show presentation was shown and then Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather, came forward to thank Dobson for his commitment and service to the citizens of Cherokee County. According to Chief Prather, “The comments on Dobson’s evaluations are a testament to his career. The comments stated that Dobson was never documented as being late and he was always on time. He is also a team player and does whatever it takes to get the job done and he is a good motivator and tries to maintain a good company attitude.”

Other speakers for the evening included Shane Dobson, a nephew of Fred who is a Deputy Fire Chief in Dekalb County, former Cherokee County Fire Chief and current county commissioner, Raymond Gunnin, Battalion Chief, Brian Ward, Battalion Chief, Ryan McElwee, former Battalion Chief, Johnny Wilkins and Captain Keith Berryman. Assistant Fire Chief, Eddie Robinson, came forward with one of Chief Dobson’s original fire department shirts when he worked at Little River. Plans are to have the shirt mounted and placed on display at the Fire Training Center.

At the end of the program, Fred came forward to say a few words. He called his wife, Patti, to the podium and gave her a kiss and thanked her for her support during all these years. Fred also shared some memories and thanked everyone for coming out to his retirement celebration.

We congratulate Fred Dobson on his retirement and we thank him for his many years of service to the citizens of Cherokee County.

go back

Fred Dobson receives his
Fred Dobson receives his "bugle" award from Cherokee County Fire Chief, Tim Prather. (click image for slideshow)
Chief Dobson listens to the stories being told about him at his retirement celebration.
Chief Dobson listens to the stories being told about him at his retirement celebration.
Chief Dobson cuts his cake at his retirement celebration.
Chief Dobson cuts his cake at his retirement celebration.
Former Cherokee County Fire Chief and current Cherokee County Commissioner, Raymond Gunnin, shares a few stories about his friend, Fred Dobson.
Former Cherokee County Fire Chief and current Cherokee County Commissioner, Raymond Gunnin, shares a few stories about his friend, Fred Dobson.
A good crowd was on hand to enjoy the festivities.
A good crowd was on hand to enjoy the festivities.
Battallion Chief, Brian Ward, has a few words to say about Fred.
Battallion Chief, Brian Ward, has a few words to say about Fred.
Shane Dobson, a nephew to Fred and a Deputy Fire Chief for Dekalb County, talked about Fred's influence on others.
Shane Dobson, a nephew to Fred and a Deputy Fire Chief for Dekalb County, talked about Fred's influence on others.
Ryan McElwee, shared stories about Fred and his Ficus tree.
Ryan McElwee, shared stories about Fred and his Ficus tree.
Battalion Chief, Fred Dobson, thanks his wife, Patti, with a kiss.
Battalion Chief, Fred Dobson, thanks his wife, Patti, with a kiss.
Fred takes a moment to speak to the crowd.
Fred takes a moment to speak to the crowd.