Wednesday April 25th, 2018 4:21AM

Jackson County's Nichols, Barrow's Weant named finalists for Banks County fire chief

By Rob Moore Reporter

HOMER — Banks County officials on Thursday released documents related to the two men announced as finalists for fire chief/Emergency Medical Services director.

Those finalists are Jackson County Public Safety Director Steve T. Nichols and Lt. Ernest P. Weant of Barrow County Emergency Services.

The Banks County Commission met in closed session Wednesday afternoon to consider applicants, arriving at those finalists.


Steve T. Nichols

Nichols, a resident of Nicholson since 2001 and Jackson County since 1985, began his career as a firefighter at Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services in 1976. There he advanced through the ranks to fire engineer, fire lieutenant, fire captain, communications officer over the fire communications center, fire battalion chief, then served as deputy chief/district commander for more than seven years until his retirement in April 2007.

Nichols served briefly as Banks County Fire and Emergency Services director before accepting his current position in Jackson County in October 2007. In that position, he oversees emergency medical services, emergency management, rescue, Homeland Security, E-9-1-1 and the fire training center.

Nichols' public safety career has spanned 39 years.


Ernest P. Weant

Weant began in 1994 as a basic emergency medical technician and later paramedic with Life Line Ambulance Service in Atlanta, where he was an original team member of Egleston Children's Hospital Pediatric Transport Unit. He then spent five years as a paramedic with Walton County EMS.

In 1997, Weant joined Barrow County Emergency Services, where he provided advanced life support care, life safety, fire suppression, vehicle extrication, and incident  stabilization. He developed the first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program in Barrow County. He also is the retired honor guard commander, and was responsible for the coordination of public relations event related to that unit.

Weant has an associate's degree in fire science technology from Lanier Technical College, is a National Professional Qualifications System Fire Officer I and II, is a Georgia certified emergency manager, a firefighter 2, a Georgia public information officer, a hazardous materials technician, an advanced cardiac life support instructor, a NPQS Fire Instructor I, a basic life support instructor, a Georgia EMT/paramedic, and has received more than 100 other certificates related to fire, EMS and EMA.

Weant's public safety career has spanned more than 22 years.

Banks County Commission Chairman Jimmy Hooper said Thursday the commission likely will hold a called meeting to vote on a new fire chief/EMS director later this month.

"We want whoever we select to be on the job the first week of January, and both have indicated they would be available," Hooper said. 

Under Georgia law, at least 14 calendar days prior to the meeting at which final action or a vote is taken on the position of executive head of an agency … "all documents concerning as many as three persons under consideration whom the agency has determined to be the best qualified for the position shall be subject to inspection and copying."

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  • Associated Tags: Banks County, Banks County Commission, Barrow County Emergency Services, Banks County Fire/EMS, Jackson County Emergency Services, Commission Chairman Jimmy Hooper, fire chief , EMS director
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