Chiefs and Staff Bios

  • go to >   CHIEF BENGIE COWART
    go to >
       ASST. GENERAL MANAGER ANNE ANDREWS
    go to >   ASST. CHIEF OF FIRE WAYNE NOHA
    go to >   ASST. CHIEF OF SECURITY GARY JARRIEL
    go to >   BATTALION CHIEF/ASST DIR 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 >   7TH DISTRICT DIVISION CHIEF VICTOR D'ALESSANDRO

SSFD Chiefs

 

Bengie Cowart Bengie Cowart

Chief of Operations
 

 

Bengie began in public safety as a junior firefighter in 1982. He became certified as a firefighter 1987 and went on to become an EMT. He achieved Paramedic in 1989. He has served with local EMS agencies and has continued his firefighting career both as a volunteer and paid professional. Bengie was EMS Director for the highly esteemed Medstar Ambulance Service that became part of the Southside Fire/EMS/Security family in 2011. He joined the ranks of SSFD as a Battalion Chief and Assistant EMS Director. After a long and distinguished career, Chief Wesley Meadows retired from service and Bengie was elevated to Chief of Operations for Southside Fire/EMS/Security.

Bengie is married. He and his wife Toni have a daughter, Makayla. Toni is a school teacher at South Effingham Middle School.

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Anne Andrews

Anne Andrews

Asst. General Manager
 

 

Anne has been with Southside Fire/EMS & Security for 42 years. When she began her career in 1972, Southside had four stations and the office staff consisted of two people. At that time, Southside had a budget of approximately $4,000.00 which has now grown to approximately $19,000,000.00.

Under her direction, the office was 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 eighteen.

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 Registered Nurse at Memorial Health University. She is a member of Isle of Hope Baptist Church.

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  Anthony Wayne Noha

 

Wayne Noha
Asst. Chief of Fire

 

 

Born and raised on Burnside Island in Montgomery (a community in southeast Chatham County). Wayne began in the fire service at the age of 17. He was instrumental in the implemenation of the Santa Truck which travels the district on Christmas Eve giving candy to children and bringing fruit baskets to the elderly in the area. Chief Noha has progressed all the way through the ranks of the volunteer division attaining the office of Chief of his division before being selected to the position of Assistan Chief of Fire for the entire organization this year on his predecessor's retiring. He has numerous certifications both at the State and National level. He founded the Montgomery Medical First Responder Unit of which is is still Director.

Wayne is married to his wife Laurie. In addition to his many hours spent with the fire service, he is President of the Burnside Island Neighborhood Association, the Montgomery Athletic Association, serves as a member of the Chatham County Board of Appeals, is an 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 also a State Licensed Commercial General Contractor and owns a rental home business.

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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/Asst. Dir of EMS

 

 

Employed with Southside Fire/EMS since October of 1997. Tim's career with Southside began with the initial merger of Southside and Mercy Ambulance at the rank of Captain. He had been with Mercy since 1985. He was tasked with the daily supervision of the newly merged EMS portion of Southside Fire/EMS. Chief Genest received the promotion to his current position in March 1998. During his tenure with Mercy Ambulance, Tim functioned in management positions ranging from Field Supervisor to EMS Director. He serves on Southeast Georgia EMS Regional Council in the current position of Chairman and has been a member since 1999. He 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). Chief Genest continues to oversee the day to day operations of medical services with Southside Fire/EMS/Security.

Tim and his wife Jennifer have two sons.

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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 and 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. Buster's 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

 

 

Battalion Chief Dave Johnson 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 Brett 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

 

 

Director of Communications Teri Best 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 and 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

 

 

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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Victor D'Alessandro

Victor D'Alessandro
7th District Division Chief

 

 

Chief Victor D’Alessandro, is 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.

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