During a joint meeting of the Town of Franklin, the Town of Highlands and the Macon County Board of Commissioners, Warren Cabe informed local officials that fire departments in Macon County are in jeopardy due to a decrease of volunteers.
Of the 11 fire districts in the county, there are approximately 400 volunteer firefighters. According to Macon County Fire Marshal Jimmy Teem, each fire department has to have a minimum of 20 members (18 firefighters, two traffic control officers). “If a department has a substation then that would require that fire department to have an additional eight firefighters for each substation in that district,” explained Teem. “Cowee, Otto, Clarks Chapel, Mountain Valley and West Macon have one substation each and Nantahala is working to get a substation online in the near future.”