Chiefs and Staff Bios

  • go to >   CHIEF / GENERAL MANAGER WESLEY MEADOWS
    go to >
       ASST. GENERAL MANAGER ANNE ANDREWS
    go to >   ASST. CHIEF OF FIRE HUGH P. FUTRELL
  • go to >   ASST. CHIEF OF EMS BENGIE COWART
    go to >   ASST. CHIEF OF SECURITY GARY JARRIEL
    go to >   BATTALION CHIEF OF EMS TIMOTHY GENEST
    go to >   TRAINING CHIEF GARRON COLE
    go to >   BATTALION CHIEF THOMAS SHERROD
    go to >   BATTALION CHIEF DAVID JOHNSON
    go to >   BATTALION CHIEF BRETT WATERS
    go to >   DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS TERI BEST
    go to >   SOUTHSIDE DIVISION CHIEF WENDELL HILL
    go to >   ISLANDS DIVISION CHIEF JASON WATERFIELD
    go to >   SKIDAWAY DIVISION CHIEF LARS LJUNGDAHL
    go to >   MONTGOMERY DIVISION CHIEF WAYNE NOHA
    go to >   7TH DISTRICT DIVISION CHIEF VICTOR D'ALESSANDRO

SSFD Chiefs

Wesley A. Meadows

Wesley A. Meadows

Chief / General Manager
 

Wesley has been in the fire service for 38 years of which 18 of those was with the Newname Fire Department located southwest of Atlanta. He served as the Assistant Chief for Southside Fire Department from 1988 until promoted to the position of Chief/General Manager of Southside in September 1998.

Wesley has held the position of President for the Georgia Fire Chief's Association, President for The International Privatized Emergency Service Association (PESA) and as President for the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs (This position covers 10 states, the Virgin Isles, Puerto Rico and represents all Fire Chiefs and Firefighters in those areas).

Wesley was awarded a Class A Valor award in 1980 from the Georgia Firefighter's Association for the rescue of two children from the seconf floor of a burning apartment building. He holds a Bachelor degree in business from St. Leo University location in Tampa, FL., member of the Savannah Exchange Club, Alee Temple Clown Unit, attends White Bluff Methodist Church and also a member of several other fire-related organizations.

He is married: wife's name is Delilah, two children Wes Jr. and Anna. Delilah is a homemaker, Wes Jr. is a Firefighter with Alpharetta Fire Dept. and his daughter Anna is married to Jeff Mills who works for Southside Fire/EMS and he also has 4 of the most perfect grandchildren.

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Anne Andrews

Anne Andrews

Asst. General Manager
 

Anne has been with Southside Fire/EMS & Security for 38 years. When she began her career in 1972, Southside had four stations and the office staff consisted of two people. When she began her career at Southside the budget was approximately $4,000.00 and has grown to approximately $10,000,000.00.

Under her direction, she was instrumental in getting the office automated with computers. She helped create a modified program for the fire accounts receivable. She worked hard to integrate the EMS and Fire office Staff. She is continually working to get both EMS and Fire Office Staff cross-trained. She worked with her staff to get all records scanned into digital form. Presently, Anne serves as the Assistant General Manager and manages a staff of eight.

Anne is married and she has a daughter. Her husband, Tom, is an Account Executive with Thermo-Fisher Health Care. Her daughter Lindsay is a Nursing Student at Armstrong-Atlantic State University and hopes to graduate in December 2010. She is a member of Isle of Hope Baptist Church.

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Hugh P. Futrell, III

Hugh P. Futrell, III
Asst. Chief of Fire

 

Assistant Chief Futrell began volunteering with Southside Fire Dept. in 1977. Two years later he was hired full time. His wife, Bonnie, is a former Montgomery Fire Department volunteer. It took Hurricane David in 1979 to get them together and they left their wedding in 1980 on the tailboard of a fire engine. They have five wonderful children and five grandchildren.

Hugh holds all Georgia Fire Academy Diplomas. He holds multiple instructorships with the Georgia Fire Academy, with Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), with the National Fire Academy through FEMA, and is one (1) of approximately one-hundred(100) National Fire Academy Chemistry of Hazardous Materials instructors in the world. He has been working with computer programming since 1983 and designed GEMA’s computer presentation of Hazardous Materials Awareness for use throughout the State of Georgia. He is a Public Safety Rescue SCUBA Diver, former Secretary of the Governor’s Task Force on Emergency Services & Highway Safety, former Vice-President of the Georgia Association of Hazardous Materials Responders, an EMT-Intermediate, a board member of the Savannah Exchange Club, and for two (2) years was President of White Bluff Elementary School PTO.

Asst. Chief Futrell is a Past President of the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs (GAFC) and as such has traveled the country representing the Georgia Fire Service throughout the Southeast and in Washington, DC. He served in Waveland, Mississippi during the Katrina disaster as the incident commander of a thirty (30) member firefighting task force from Georgia and as incident commander for a structural protection team during the South Georgia wildfires of 2007. Currently, Hugh is the Chairman of Chatham County’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and primary coordinator for Emergency Support Function Four (ESF4): Firefighting Coordination for Chatham County during CEMA”S Emergency Operations Center activations before and during disasters in Chatham.

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Bengie Cowart

Bengie Cowart
Asst. Chief of EMS

 

Assistant Chief Cowart started his public safety career in 1981 as a JR Firefighter with Guyton Vol. Fire Department where he began learning how to respond to emergency calls and how to render aid to patients.  Bengie attended EMT school in 1987, and began working with Effingham County EMS.  He followed up with Paramedic school in 1989 and started working with Raceway EMS based out of Guyton.  Effingham County EMS then took over the service in 1998 and he was promoted to a supervisor with them.  Bengie started working as a paramedic with Chatham County EMS in 1994 and later with MedStarOne when Memorial Health took over Chatham’s EMS service area.  He worked the streets of Savannah and Chatham County as a lead paramedic until 2001 when he became an FTO/SWAT Medic with MedStarOne.  Bengie moved into a Lieutenant’s spot over field staff for several years, then moved into a Captain’s position, and finally as EMS Director.  In 2011, he joined with the Southside Fire/EMS & Security as the Assistant EMS Director holding the rank of Battalion Chief.  In 2013 A/C Cowart was promoted to Assistant Chief/EMS Director.  Bengie holds numerous instructors’ credentials such as BLS, ACLS, PALS, PHTLS, and First Aid/AED. He also holds State Cert’s in the fire service with his NPQ I and II and has served as Coroner in Effingham County for several years.

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Gary Jarriel

Gary Jarriel
Director of Security

 

While employed by Southside Fire/EMS and Security for 17 years, Assistant Chief Gary Jarriel has held several positions with the department, including Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, and Emergency Dispatcher. In January 2009, Assistant Chief Jarriel was promoted to his current position as Director of Security. As Director of Security, he oversees the day-to-day security operations of one of the largest bulk liquid natural gas storage facilities in the United States. Security operations include access control, patrolling, and data review. Required annual audits provide reason and opportunity for Assistant Chief Jarriel to work closely with the Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, US Department of Transportation, and Federal Energy Regulation Commission, as well as local marine patrol and law enforcement. Since his beginning as a local volunteer firefighter in 1988, Assistant Chief Jarriel has grown to love serving the public and has also served as a Peace Officer in the State of Georgia for 16 years. Including law enforcement, his training throughout different areas of public service facilitates his position as Director of Security.

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Timothy GenestTimothy Genest
Battalion Chief of EMS

 

Employed with Southside Fire/EMS since October of 1997. Assistant Chief Tim Genest’s career at Southside began with the initial merger in October 1997 at the rank of Captain. Assistant Chief Genest was tasked with the daily supervision of the newly merged EMS portion of the Southside Fire/EMS. Assistant Chief Genest received his promotion to his current position in March 1998. Prior to his tenure with Southside Fire/EMS Assistant Chief Genest worked with Mercy Ambulance Service since 1985. During his tenure with Mercy Ambulance Assistant Chief Genest functioned in management positions from Field Supervisor to EMS Director. Assistant Chief Genest serves on Southeast Georgia EMS Regional Council in the current position of Chairman and has been a member since 1999. Assistant Chief Genest is currently licensed as a paramedic and holds instructorships in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) while overseeing daily operation of the EMS operation of Southside Fire/EMS/Security.

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Garron E.L. Cole

Garron E.L. Cole
Chief of Training

 

Serving the public through this Department since 1976 as a Firefighter, the leadership skills and talents of this officer rapidly became apparent. Rising to the rank of Captain within 2 short years, Garron has continued to strive for excellence in service and education. With over 34 years of continuing education and experience Garron Cole has proven time again his sound judgment and capabilities as a leader. Promoted to Chief of Training in 2004, Garron adds to his already impressive list of certifications, which include but are not limited to:

GPSTC, GFA, GEMA, CEMA (State & Local) Certifications- Fire Chief, Chief Officer, Fire Inspector, Training Officer, Company Officer, GA EMT, Apparatus Engineer, State Fire Instructor I & II, State Poison Prevention Instructor, Fire Incident Command, Helicopter & Air Operations, Structural & Crash Fire/Rescue, EVOC & etc.

NPQ, NFPA, NFA, DOT, USCG, FEMA, NAEMT (National & Federal) Certifications- Fire Instructor NPQ I & II, Incident Command & Management, Hazmat Response, EVOC, Emergency Response to Terrorism, Hazmat Transportation Emergencies, Rescue Specialties, EMD, NREMT-I & etc.

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Thomas O. Sherrod

Thomas O. Sherrod
Battalion Chief

 

Well known within the Emergency Services community is our Quartermaster, Battalion Chief "Buster" Sherrod. Batt. Chief Sherrod is considered by all within the Department to be a symbol of what a public servant should strive to be. Unfailingly humble and honest, he brings with him vast experience and the well-earned respect of those that follow his example. "Buster" is, to us at least, the quintessential fire officer, a leader who can be counted upon to always make the best decisions in the worst of circumstances. Serving bravely, consistently and dependably through innumerable crises since joining the Department in 1973, Batt. Chief Sherrod is eminently qualified to lead… and is naturally followed. "Busters" impressive list of certifications include but are not limited to:

GPSTC, GFA, GEMA, CEMA (State & Local) Certifications- Fire Chief, Chief Officer, Fire Inspector, Training Officer, Company Officer, GA EMT, Apparatus Engineer, State Fire Instructor I & II, Fire Incident Command, Helicopter & Air Operations, Structural & Crash Fire/Rescue, EVOC & etc.

NPQ, NFPA, NFA, DOT, USCG, FEMA, NAEMT (National & Federal) Certifications- Fire Instructor, NPQ I & II, Incident Command & Management, Hazmat Awareness, Emergency Response to Terrorism, Hazmat Transportation Emergencies, Rescue Specialties, NREMT-I & etc.

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David M. Johnson

David M. Johnson
Battalion Chief

 

Dave started his career in Fire and EMS in 1985 in the Air Force as a Firefighter and became an EMT in 1986. He left the military in 1989 with a honorable discharge. After the military he was employed as a civilian Firefighter at Hunter Army Airfield. In 1991 he left Savannah for school  in California and began to work for Solano County EMS. In late 1992, he moved back to Savannah and began to work at Mercy Ambulance and Chatham County EMS. He achieved his Paramedic in 1993 and in 1997 joined Southside Fire Department in the merger with Mercy EMS.  He has since worked his way up to Battalion Chief.  His capable handling of crisis situations and "go get ´em" work ethic make him a valuable asset to our leadership team.

David´s impressive accomplishments include but are not limited to: GPSTC, GFA, GEMA, CEMA (State & Local) Certifications- GA Firefighter II, GA EMT-P, GEMA Rescue & Extrication Specialist, Structural & Crash Fire/Rescue, EVOC & etc.

NPQ, NFPA, NFA, DOT, NAEMT (National & Federal) Certifications- NPQ-II Firefighter, Hazmat Operations, NREMT-P, EMD, APHTLS & etc. Holds instructor certificates in ACLS, BCLS, PALS and NALS.

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Brett A. Waters

Brett A. Waters
Battalion Chief

 

A veteran Firefighter/Paramedic who has served the citizens of Georgia through this Department since 1984, and with Evans county EMS for over a decade. Battalion Chief Waters has been a provider and instructor in the consistent delivery of the highest quality Advanced Life Support since 1986. Since that time, Brett has also proven himself to be a dependable, experienced and sound supervisor. With 17 years of education and experience, B/C Waters is adding to his long list of accomplishments in Fire and EMS by aggressively achieving numerous Fire & Rescue certifications. His impressive list of certifications includes but is not limited to:

GPSTC, GFA, GEMA, CEMA (State & Local) Certifications- GA Firefighter II, GA EMT-P, GA State Paramedic Preceptor, GEMA Rescue & Extrication Specialist, Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Counselor/Coordinator, Structural & Crash Fire/Rescue, EVOC & etc.

NPQ, NFPA, NFA, DOT, USCG, FEMA, NAEMT (National & Federal) Certifications- NPQ-II Firefighter, Hazmat Operations, Incident Command, Terrorism Response, NREMT-P, EMD, PLS, ABTLS, APHTLS, PALS, and an ACLS/BCLS Instructor & etc.

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Teri Best

Teri Best
Director of Communications

 

Teri began her career in public safety in 1991 when she became a Georgia Basic EMT. She continued her training through the years obtaining certifications such as Nationally Registered Paramedic, National Professional Qualifications FFII, Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Dispatcher, and is a graduate of the Communications Center Managers’ Course. She has worked in field positions as a firefighter and paramedic, achieved the rank of Sergeant. Later she was appointed to the position of Special Operations Officer. She maintained this position until assuming the duties of Director of Communications when her predecessor retired in 2010. She now oversees the 24/7 communications center and radio equipment for Southside.

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Wendell Hill

Wendell Hill
Southside Division Chief

 

Wendell T Hill, Sr., is currently Chief of Southside Fire Department. He joined the military in 1974 and became a Georgia Air National Guard Technician in 1976. In 1977 he started volunteering with the Savannah Airport Commission as an Air/Crash firefighter. Six months later he started working for the Airport as a paid firefighter. He worked for the Airport Commission for 15 years. Some of his certifications were Firefighter 1 and 2 and State Certified Airport Firefighter.

He started volunteering with Southside Fire Department in 1992. He worked his way through the ranks: firefighter, lieutenant, captain, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief and Chief. Certifications he holds includes Firefighter 1 and 2, Rescue Specialist, Jaws Extrication Specialist, and Hazmat Awareness. His desire to help other people lead to his firefighting career and now, 32 years later, he still loves helping others.

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Jason Waterfield

Jason Waterfield
Islands Division Chief

 

Chief Jason Waterfield began his career with Southside Fire/EMS/Security nearly 20 years ago as a firefighter. During this time Chief Waterfield has received an inordinate amount of fire and emergency service training from numerous local, state and federal resources. Jason became the Chief of Wilmington Island Fire Department in 2000 and continues his educational pursuits to this day.

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Chief Lars Ljungdahl

Lars Ljungdahl             Skidaway Island Division Chief

 

Chief Lars Ljungdahl moved to the Landings from Connecticut in 1997. He is married to Sandra Lee, Lars has two married children, Ann and Christer and Sandra Lee has three children Beth, John and Beth     

Lars had more than 32 years of worldwide manufacturing and executive management experience with IBM. During this time he held many different positions in Europe and USA.  He retired in 1995 as Vice president of IBM’s worldwide logistics processes. His responsibilities included worldwide: logistics process strategy, cycle time reduction, inventory management, procurement, distribution, asset protection, reutilization and worldwide order process. Lars also led the IBM corporate reengineering of worldwide supply chain management and Customer fulfillment.    

Lars joined Meritus / Solving, fall 1996 as Vice President, Partner and Supply Chain Practice leader as such completed several significant projects and published numerous articles and supply chain and value chain white papers.    

Lars is active in the Presbyterian Church, the Landings Company board as Treasurer, Volunteer with the Bethesda Barn Builders and with the Southside Fire Department as a Fire Chief and EMS/First responder.    

Lars has a Masters degree in Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, an advanced business management degree from the Industry Management and Leadership Institute in Sweden and an Advanced Management Program (AMP) degree from INSEAD in France.

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Wayne Noha

Wayne Noha
Montgomery Division Chief

 

Born and raised on Burnside Island in Montgomery (a community in southeast Chatham County). Chief Noha began in the fire service at age 17 on September 15, 1983. Chief Noha was instrumental in the founding of the Santa Truck which travels the district on Christmas Eve giving candy to children and fruit baskets to the elderly in the area. Chief Noha has progressed through the ranks of Lt., Asst. Chief, Deputy Chief and is currently Chief. Chief Noha has obtained NPQ certification and numerous State Certifications. Chief Noha founded the Montgomery Medical First Responders Unit. Chief Noha is Director of First Responders and is an EMT – I.

Chief Noha is married to his dazzling wife Laurie K. Noha. In addition to his many hours spent with the fire service, he is President of the Burnside Island Neighborhood Association, President of the Montgomery Athletic Association, serves as a member of Chatham County Zoning Board of Appeals, active member of Ferguson Avenue Baptist Church where he is SS Assistant, Choir member and cooks and serves dinners on Wednesday nights. Chief Noha is a State Licensed Commercial General Contractor. He also owns a rental home business, and doesn’t get a lot of sleep.

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Victor D'Alessandro

Victor D'Alessandro
7th District Division Chief

 

Victor D’Alessandro, is currently Chief of 7th District Fire Department.  He has been a member of Southside for 22 years. Victor grew up in Totowa, NJ.  His interest was in aviation but while attending school full time he also worked full time at Caldwell Airport. It was here that he was thrust into firefighting. As a lineman at the local airport he was also required to respond with the Crash Fire Rescue vehicle and became interested in the fire service as well.

In 1985 he moved to take a job with Gulfstream Aerospace as an aviation technician. After settling in 1988 he joined Southside Fire Departments Islands Division and in 1997 he transferred his membership to 7th District Fire Dept. He worked his way up through the ranks as a Lieutenant, Captain, Asst. Chief and Chief.  Some of his certifications are Firefighter I, II and III, Rescue Specialist, Hazmat Awareness, Jaws Extrication. Victor attributes his success to the many paid and volunteer professional members who make his job easy and rewarding. He continues to work with Gulfstream today and attributes some of his success there to the lessons he has learned and the training he has received from the fire service.

            Victor is married to Karen who is an OB-GYN and he has three children. Victoria, and twins Garrett and Gabrielle.  He appreciates the fact that they sacrifice many things to support his interest in firefighting as any spouse, child, and friend of a firefighter can attest to.

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