Man who fought mill fire hospitalized

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An Augusta firefighter remained hospitalized Tuesday after being injured during a weekend blaze that gutted the Southern Milling Co. building on Twiggs Street.

Lt. Jay Jones was pinned beneath a "deck gun" water cannon and its 1,000-gallon-per-minute pressure stream after the device tipped over, Chief Howard Willis said.

A fellow firefighter, Lt. William Dickerson, was beside Lt. Jones and helped pull the machine off him, enabling him to escape from the stream of water.

"The pump operator shut the line down and the rescue units came running over there, but William Dickerson was right there beside him," Chief Willis said.

Lt. Jones, who was knocked unconscious, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital with deep cuts and a broken leg, ankle and collarbone. He was later transferred to Doctors Hospital, said his wife, Sheryl Jones.

"He has four or five months of recovery ahead of him," Mrs. Jones said. "But if it wasn't for Lt. Dickerson, my husband would not be here today."

Firefighters are like brothers, she said.

"He risked his life to save my husband; that's just the way they are," she said.

The cause of Friday night's blaze remains under investigation, Chief Willis said.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (18) Add comment
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christian134
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christian134 10/01/08 - 06:34 am
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If this fire is found to be

If this fire is found to be arson then all stops should be called off in order to apprehend and prosecute the arsonist to the fullest...Also to the "powers that be" if you would simply give your firemen the most up to date equipment and have a better training regiment in place could result in the firemen having a greater chance of making it home after their shifts...The equipment is out-of date and faulty...The training is also very much sub-standard...Do something before lives are lost...My prayers going up for the quick healing of Lt. Jones...Thanks to all the men and women of the fire department for jobs well done...

1trugent
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1trugent 10/01/08 - 09:02 am
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Great job Lt. Dickerson and I

Great job Lt. Dickerson and I wish Lt. Jones a full and speedy recovery.

g-dog express
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g-dog express 10/01/08 - 09:31 am
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134 how do you know the

134 how do you know the equipment is out of date and faulty? How do you know the training is sub-standard?

christian134
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christian134 10/01/08 - 10:33 am
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Family members g-dog family

Family members g-dog family members....Fortunately they have now taken jobs with up to date training each shift and have the finest equipment that can be purchased...Which eases my mind somewhat as it is hard for a mom to see her family members fight fires with inadequate training and faulty out of date equipment...

christian134
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christian134 10/01/08 - 10:34 am
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Now why on earth would I

Now why on earth would I speak out like I have if I didn't have some knowledge of what I am commenting?

christian134
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christian134 10/01/08 - 10:37 am
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Furthermore the "powers that

Furthermore the "powers that be" need to get off their behinds and start funding both police and fire departments with the proper training and equipment...These people are putting their lives on the line everyday and as such deserve better than they have now which is barely getting by....Who do you and others think to call on in times of trouble?...It is certainly not going to be the grocery store clerk...

Casting_Fool
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Casting_Fool 10/01/08 - 11:18 am
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You didn't answer "g-dog

You didn't answer "g-dog express's" question, "christian134".

How do you know that the equipment is out of date and the training faulty? Be specific and answer the question with honesty and openness, or stop the nonsense.

christian134
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christian134 10/01/08 - 11:40 am
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What part of family members

What part of family members training and working in the Richmond County Fire Department do you not understand Casting Fool?

Newsreader
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Newsreader 10/01/08 - 01:55 pm
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I understood your comment

I understood your comment c-134, what part of disgruntled did you not understand? Give proof not just feelings.

patel99
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patel99 10/01/08 - 03:29 pm
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This sounds like a bunch of

This sounds like a bunch of Clearwaters, S.C best talking here, but I will clear things up a bit. They ran Ch. Few off for a grade school harrisburg Bubba, so I agree with g-dog 100%. I knew Lt. Jones whole family, and this guy was trained well. The equipment on some of those machines are old as far I know, but until you worked on the fire department keep your comments on your level. Them guys do a pre- trip inspection every morning before shifts starts, so if it was faulty, heads will roll, starting with you know who, Bubba.

g-dog express
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g-dog express 10/01/08 - 09:46 pm
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As a former firefighter I

As a former firefighter I know that their training has to meet state standards. When each firefighter is tested and evaluated it is by state officials not the local fire department. Equipment hasn't changed that much and RC may be a little behind on new equipment but as long as the older equipment is well maintained it will work and assist the the firefighter quite well. Don't forget that the firefighters job has grown since 911 and methlabs. Most fire stations are investing what they have in the hazmat arena.

Casting_Fool
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Casting_Fool 10/01/08 - 11:46 pm
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You never gave any proof,

You never gave any proof, straight forward facts, just unsupported comments, "christian134". I have friends in the RCFD, and I'm not hearing the same complaints that you are expressing. You have only insinuated that "equipment is out of date and the training faulty", not given any facts to support your statements. If you really are a Christian, then do the right thing and support your complaints with the actual facts. Or, you could call the RCFD and ask them to keep their out-of-date equipment and faulty training to themselves and to not respond to your home and/or business the next time you need an emergency response.

christian134
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christian134 10/02/08 - 06:18 am
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Unless you believe me to be a

Unless you believe me to be a fool then you keep your comments to yourself as well...My family and their brothers and sisters of the fire department mean more to me than your public relation bull...So if your really a caring member of the brotherhood of firemen look to your backyard and clean it up...As far as state certified that means about as much as a Doctor who graduated 499 out of a class of 500...He passed but how only God above knows...

christian134
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christian134 10/02/08 - 06:35 am
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As far as the harm that has

As far as the harm that has befallen one of your own, casting fool, if I were you I would look to within and try to make things better so not one more brave and heroic man or woman is harmed, God forbid, doing their jobs...Once again "c" not capital for my name but Christian non-the-less but my comments stand and by rights should not anger you to the extent that your judgment is impaired concerning the safety of the men and women...It should also not be followed by a veiled threat of sorts...

g-dog express
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g-dog express 10/02/08 - 09:42 am
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Well, again if you've walked

Well, again if you've walked the walk... I've seen too many fail one event in a test and not get their certification. Thats right 134 they don't grade on a curve. Failing one event gives walking papers. You can go back to school and re-learn but if failure happens again you walk. You know not of which you speak. Firefighters work in twos and this is why Lt. Jones didn't lose his life. Working in twos is the single most important part of a firefighters safety net. A firefighter would not trust his life to an unqualified person who cannot pass a test. So booya!!!!!!

Casting_Fool
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Casting_Fool 10/02/08 - 10:14 am
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I am not in the RCFD, I have

I am not in the RCFD, I have friends there. I did not threaten you, as I have no connection to or relationship with the RCFD. "... the next time you need an emergency response" was a sarcastic statement meant to make you think about your position. And you still haven't given us any actual facts or proof to back up what you stated. Which disappoints me greatly as your brother in Christ. It isn't "impaired judgement" to not believe someone who will not or cannot support their claims with undisputed, verifiable, documented facts. If you can't back up the veracity of your statements, then consider apologizing to folks here for not being truthful. It isn't of any importance to me whether or not you like or respect me, but you ought to at least respect your own faith.

christian134
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christian134 10/02/08 - 01:06 pm
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I have nothing whatsoever to

I have nothing whatsoever to apologize as all I am concerned about is the health and welfare of the men and women of the Fire Department...If you and your blustery friend see this as some kind of slight then that is your particular problem to deal with but I would kind of hope that you and yours would lay aside the hurt put upon feelings and just start a campaign to supply the Department above "adequate"....

Casting_Fool
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Casting_Fool 10/02/08 - 06:15 pm
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My friend at the RCFD told me

My friend at the RCFD told me the following: The equipment is not substandard (most of it has been replaced by SPLOST money.) The problem was that the piece of equipment that hurt the guy was setup in a small area. There is a waterway that runs beside the mill that made it harder to set up up the equipment he was using and to lay out the hose to counter the water pressure coming out of the deck gun. There wasn't anywhere to tie the equipment down or off to. The deck gun puts out up to 1000 gal a minute. When the deck gun is set up like this you have to be careful how low you let the barrel or pipe get and watch out for the back force. My feelings are not hurt, "christian134", but I am profoundly disappointed in your apparently poor testimony concerning the truth. You were asked for several confirming points of fact to give weight to your statements. To this point, you have not done this. You have only managed to constantly repeat your plea to "help our poor firemen and women with their outdated equipment and poor training". Where are you getting your information from, and what are the facts that back up your statements?

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