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Local business, employee honored for safety effort

Special proclamations were presented to a local business and an employee there for helping to renovate a statewide fire safety house that benefits thousands of youngsters across Georgia.

The proclamations were presented to Mark Swann, manager of the Remnant & Rug Shop on Washington Road in Thomson and one of his employees, Don Ray, who serves as assistant manager of the business.

A special ceremony was held outside the business on Aug. 9 where Mr. Swann and Mr. Ray received the proclamations from Georgia State Fire Assistant Marshal Dwayne Garriss. Jimmy Crawley, who lives in Thomson and works as an investigator specialist with the state fire marshal's office, also was present.

Thomson Fire Rescue Chief Rick Sewell also attended the ceremony.

Mr. Garriss complimented Mr. Swann's business saying they had bought into a partnership in fire safety prevention.

"We appreciate what they have done for us," said Mr. Garriss, noting that when private industry, businesses and state agencies work together, it's beneficial to everyone.

Mr. Swann provided the material to re-carpet the state fire safety house, while Mr. Ray actually installed the carpet. The work was performed back in May.

Chief Sewell, meanwhile, donated the space at city fire headquarters where the work was completed.

In recent years, there have been at least four lives saved as a result of fire safety house education being taught, according to Mr. Crawley.

"One save is worth a million," said Mr. Garriss.

"Without folks like this, a lot of our mission couldn't be accomplished," Chief Sewell said. "It's immeasurable what the state fire safety house teaches kids. It's reinforced over and over again."

Mr. Swann said he was delighted to have been part of it.

"The community gives us so much; we were just glad to be able to give a little bit back to the community and our state," said Mr. Swann.

"I don't think you can put a price tag on the type of education that children get by going through the fire safety house," added Mr. Ray, noting that his daughter, Diana, 12, had the opportunity to do so during a fire prevention education class at school.

Web posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010

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