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Businesses help local fire department
Gum Branch Fire Chief gets check
Dennis Waters and Sean Heath, representing Palm Coast Utilities, present a $1,000 check to Gum Branch Fire Chief Thomas Fisher recently. - photo by Photo by Frenchi Jones
When a couple of local businessmen heard the Gum Branch Fire Department was having problems with its water storage system, they realized it was in their best interest to see it was fixed.
“We thought it would be great to step up and do what we could,” Dennis Waters said. “Fortunately, we had the wherewithal to do our part.”
The problem, according to GBFD Chief Thomas Fisher was a leak in his station’s well system.
“You kind of need a well to fill up the water trucks and having a leak, that can be a bad thing,” Fisher said.
Waters and Aaron Duncan of Palm Coast Utilities decided to give the department $1,000 for a brand new tank.
Waters is also an associate with Sean Heath in Dennis Waters Rental Properties, Inc. Heath lives in Gum Branch and Waters said many of their employees and tenants reside in the area covered by the fire department.
It’s been nearly a year since Fisher first detected the problem.
He said efforts to repair the leak proved to be a never-ending headache and money for a new well was not readily available.
“The county only gives us $12,000 for the whole year,” he said. “And it doesn’t go very far.”
Then Spc. Kenny Ault, a Fort Stewart soldier who volunteers as a firefighter for Gum Branch, started lobbying for donations.
“At first, I was trying to find a used tank,” Ault said. “I started going around to some of the plumbing places and the trailer parks just trying to find a used one.”
Ault said he did not find a used a pump, but he and fellow firefighters talked to Waters, Heath and Duncan.
Fisher said he is grateful for the utility company’s contribution, especially during tough economic times.
“It saves us a lot of money,” he said.

Editor’s note: This story corrects some errors in an earlier version that ran in the May 27 Courier.
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