WRITTEN BY JACK ALMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN GIBSON
The Knox County Commission refers to us as the South West Sector. We here in the South West Sector, fought our battles with the County and the Metropolitan Planning Commission as relates to the growth and their allowance of the developments around us. Most of those battles were lost to the developers with the exception of having our own fire and rescue facility at our doorsteps. We won that one after many meetings with the County and Rural Metro. For a little over a year we have had the protection of Rural Metro through the new facility at the corner of Northshore Drive and Choto Road which can provide the Choto peninsula and surrounding communities with rescue and fire protection.
Between the management of Larry Wilder, Fire Prevention Specialist with Knox County and Jeff Devlin, Battalion Chief with Rural Metro, approving the building of this facility, and the professionalism and experience of the men and women that stay on alert at that fire station on our behalf, our comfort level has risen above our expectations.
The personnel that provide protection for us are made up of three “platoons”; Blue, Red and Green, of two men each. Although this writer has only been able to meet with two of these professionals they certainly exemplify the others.
John Whited, Deputy Chief of the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad, devotes 10 days a month to the Farragut RM Station as well as additional time with the KVERS, which is trained in various rescue missions. John also is a tactical advisor to the Knoxville SWAT team as an instructor. He is a graduate of Farragut High School and has been affiliated with RM for 27 years. John is married to Pam who is also employed by RM.
Chris Caywood has been with RM for 16 years and is a paramedic. Chris is married to April and has 3 children, Caitlyn 19 years old, Hunter 13 and Autumn 12. He is a graduate of Kirby High School in Memphis, TN.
John and Chris make up the Blue Team. The other members of the teams are: Arnold Pena and Gary Godfrey both of whom are long time employees of Rural Metro. They make up the Red Team. Wayne Teeters, also a paramedic, and Jacob Riggs make up the Green Team.
We welcome these wonderful First Responders to our neighborhood. You might find time to stop by and pay your respects because: “In your most critical hour…we are there.”
Top Photo from left to right: Chris Caywood, Wayne Teeters, Arnold Pena and Gary Godfrey. Bottom Photo: Fire Chief, Jerry Harnish