A team of top Tennessee state officials visited Crossville Wednesday morning, as state Fire Marshal and Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Hodgen Mainda and his team spoke with the Cumberland County Fire Department as part of Fire Prevention Week.
“We have a fire safety campaign,” Mainda said. “We are educating consumers on being fire-aware. We are happy to have the opportunity to tour Cumberland County’s fire department.”
Mainda praised the efforts of the local department.
“It’s a volunteer department, and a majority of the 23,000 firefighters in our state are volunteers,” he said. “From the state fire marshal’s office, we want to come out alongside the volunteers and give them as many resources as we can.
“Its’s important in so many ways,” Mainda added on visiting fire departments. “The governor (Bill Lee) is very supportive of first responders. In order for us to do our jobs well and communicate on behalf of the fire departments, we need to hear, see and feel. It’ll help us accomplish a lot more if we know for sure what’s on the ground.”
Mainda’s trip to Crossville is one of many in Tennessee he plans to make.
“We are doing this across the state,” Mainda sad. “This is my second, but my team is doing an average of one or two of the fire departments per week. Our goal is by June of 2021 to have visited every county across the state.”
Learning from their trips is also a goal of Mainda and the fire marshal’s team.
“For us, it’s a collaborative approach,” he said. “If we are not out here, there’s not that open line of communication. Hearing what the needs are, what’s working, how can we support you better? And we accomplish that better by actually being there in person.”
Along with communication with Cumberland County Fire Chief Trevor Kerley and County Mayor Allen Foster, the office of the fire marshal provided supplies for the department, including food and bottled waters.