RINCON — Corey Rahn is rightfully proud of Rincon Fire Department. He has been a member of it for 35 years, including almost 27 as chief.
The department, responsible for a coverage area of about 90 square miles in the souther part of Effingham County, features 12 paid personnel and about two dozen volunteers, including the chief and assistant chief spots are volunteer. They are spread among four stations — two manned and two volunteer.
“About 75 percent of our business is medical calls,” Rahn said. “We assist Effingham County EMS a lot with medical calls from stumped toes to stomach aches, to heart attacks and strokes.”
Rahn said his department could use additional volunteers to help with the workload. It responds to all auto accidents with injuries, fuel spills, structure fires and commercial warehouse fires in its jurisdiction. It also performs search-and-rescue missions for missing children and senior citizens, and assists local law enforcement with their searches.
The chief said the department averages about three water calls each year. In 2020, it assisted law enforcement with a jumper off a bridge and, more recently, it responded to a call to assist a kayaker who turned over in Ebenezer Creek.
Another call involved assisting a hunter who shot himself while retreating from a charging wild hog in a swampy area behind Georgia-Pacific near the Savannah River. The chief said that the Coast Guard had to fly the hunter out of the woods in that situation.
The department is often called on to assist neighboring agencies. Several years ago, it helped when the Savannah Sugar Refinery caught fire. Its ladder truck went to westside Savannah to cover the Pooler area since all available units from Chatham County were involved with the fire.
The ladder truck was the only one in service to that area. Rincon units also helped in hauling water to the scene.
This year, the department is looking to change out two of the firetrucks in its aging fleet. Updates have also been made to a rescue truck and it put two more rescue trucks into service.
That gives each fire station its own rescue truck. These are smaller vehicles that can get into backyards and tighter areas, and carry a small water tank to fight brush fires. They also contain ladders and a Jaws of Life.