Liberty County Fire Coordinator James Ashdown resigned Monday, county officials confirmed this week. Ashdown had served as the county’s first fire coordinator for more than eight years.
“Every coach has to realize they have a season with a team and that the season has to end one day,” Ashdown posted to his fellow firefighters on his personal Facebook page. “That day is here. I appreciate the support I received from you and I thank you for your service to your communities. Every one of you will always be family to me, and I wish you well with your future. Take care and God bless you all.”
“James has served the county and its citizens very well during his tenure and has been a catalyst in helping to establish policies and procedures necessary to ensure effective and efficient fire protection,” County Administrator Joey Brown said in a prepared statement. “He will be sorely missed.”
Brown explained that the county fire coordinator position currently is a part-time position, adding Ashdown also serves full-time as assistant (fire) chief at Hunter Army Airfield.
“I admire his dedication to the county through the period of time that he has had to try and balance the demands of both entities,” Brown said.
Liberty County EMA director Mike Hodges will assume the county fire-coordinator duties on an interim basis while the county considers possible full-time staffing of locations for fire protection, the county administrator said.
“Mr. Hodges comes from a background in fire services and will be able to continue the great rapport with the various fire departments established by Mr. Ashdown,” Brown said.
County leaders are considering a proposed fire plan that recommends consolidating fire services with the county’s cities, except for Hinesville. Liberty County commissioners have discussed implementing a unified approach to fire services to improve fire protection for residents and help lower home-owners’ fire-insurance rates.