The Newnan Times-Herald


Red light, blue light

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jun. 08, 2018 - 5:50 AM

I write about my job a good bit. I love the work I do, the agency I work for and the community we serve. So it’s an easy topic to write about.

The first column I ever wrote was about my years at 911 Dispatch and some of the craziness that comes along with that job.

Not long ago, I wrote about the men and women who wear different shades of blue uniforms I am lucky enough to know and work with.

For no good reason, I have never written much about the men and women who run into danger using red lights instead of blue.

I hope I never need any service they offer, but if I am in need, I am glad to know it’s them coming.

Much like I can’t imagine a better agency to work for, I can’t imagine a better agency to work with. Our fire department is second to none.

They train with us. When we have active shooter training, they have active shooter training.

They are there with us, hoping we never need the skills we are honing, but knowing that should it ever come to us, we are prepared.

We know, should something really bad ever happen to us at work, it’s them who are coming to save us. And we are more than comfortable with that knowledge. We know them.

Their leaders teach us emergency first aid. They give us tools and knowledge we need to survive.

Last week I was working an accident on the interstate, one of the aspects of the job I enjoy the least. Too many people don’t see the need to slow down or move over.

No more than six or seven months ago, my shift was working a wreck on the interstate when a car-rear ended a fire truck that was on scene with us.

The fire truck was by far the largest and most visible vehicle on the interstate, along with the most lights flashing, yet a car happened to run into it at full speed, while three first responders stood on the other side of it working.

So back to last week, I’m on the interstate working an accident. The injured have been taken away in an ambulance. The lanes have been cleared. All I had to do was wait for the wrecker to come tow the wrecked vehicle.

The fire department’s job was done. It was 3:00 in the morning (keep in mind, they work 24-hour shifts). There was nothing left for them to do on that scene, they could have left and gone back to the station.

But they stayed on scene with me, with their big red truck and all the flashing lights, blocking us from all the traffic that doesn’t see the need to slow down or move over.

I didn’t ask them to, but I sure was glad they did. And it was a pleasant conversation to boot.

We may run to a scene under a different color light, but make no mistake, we are one team.

Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and deputy sheriff. He can be reached at