BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chief Jimmy Bearden, NREMT-I, began his career as a firefighter with the Carrollton Fire Department in 1980. Working his way through the ranks, he was appointed Fire Chief in 2004. Chief Bearden is a state certified fire officer II, national registry emt, haz/mat technician, state certified fire instructor and public fire safety educator. He has received management or specialized training certifications through the Georgia Fire Academy, West Central Technical College, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, National Fire Academy and many specialty training companies. Chief Bearden has also earned certifications in fire control, rescue operations, extrication, mass medical incidents, triage, incident command, fire service and business management, hazardous materials mitigation and district fire schools.
Capt. Bill Messer, Board Chairman, began his career as a firefighter with the Carrollton Fire Department in July of 1991. Capt. Messer progressed through the ranks, being promoted to Lieutenant in 1994 and Captain in 2004. Throughout his career, Capt. Messer has assisted with the training and development of the Fire Department. He has served as a fire officer and instructor in EMS training, firefighting, HAZ/MAT Technician, operations and awareness training, CPR/First Aid and AED training. Bill’s qualifications include Georgia State Certified Fire Officer/Firefighter, Hazardous Materials Instructor, National Professional Qualified HAZ/MAT Technician, National Registry EMT, Certified Georgia Fire Instructor, Fire Safety Instructor, Medical First Responder Instructor and CPR/First Aid Instructor Trainer. He has also attended Fire Safety symposiums and GEMA conferences.
Some of Capt. Messer’s other specialized training includes arson detection, cobra operations and incident command, hazardous materials operating site practices, emergency response to radiological transportation accidents, radiological waste isolation pilot program, radiological instrumentation, radiation WIPP command and control, radiological emergency response, emergency response to hazardous materials incidents, prime alert Bio detection verification system training, chemistry of hazardous materials, Cameo Dos (chemical database) training, emergency vehicle operations, special supplemental inflatable restraint systems, crash victims extrication, structural fire control, interior search and rescue, building construction non-combustible, building construction wood and ordinary, pediatric life support, pre-hospital management of traumatic brain injuries, RTLS International, pressurized container fire control, and flammable liquids fire control. Captain Messer is a member of the Georgia State Firefighters Association and West Georgia Regional HAZ/MAT Team.
Capt. Tim Spratlin, Board Member, NREMT-I, began his career as a firefighter with the Carrollton Fire Department in 1989. Captain Spratlin progressed through the ranks becoming a Driver/Engineer, Lieutenant, and Captain in 1996. His is a State of Georgia Certified Fire Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, National Professional Qualified HAZ/MAT Technician, and CPR/First Aid Instructor. Captain Spratlin has also attended many management and supervision classes which included national incident management. Some of his other training includes arson investigation, many live fire training sessions, structural firefighting, breathing air technician, interior search and rescue, Hazardous Materials computer data base training, crash victim extrication, emergency vehicle operations, pre-hospital management of traumatic brain injuries, infectious disease control and radiological emergency response and management. Captain Spratlin is a member of the Georgia State Firefighters Association and West Georgia Regional HAZ/MAT Team.
Allen English graduated from the Southern College of Technology in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and began working at the Carrollton Fire Department that same year. He received his Emergency Medical Technician Diploma in 1996 from the Carroll Technical Institute. He has progressed through the ranks from firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant , and was recently promoted to the position of Battalion Chief supervising one of the Department's three shifts. He has also been the Carrollton Fire Department's Lead Fire Investigator since 2010 and holds many fire investigation certifications as well as being a sworn police officer through the Carrollton Police Department. He is a Hazardous Materials Technician with the West Georgia Regional Hazardous Materials Team. Allen holds certifications in Fire Service Instructor, NPQ Evaluator, and other areas of fire department operations. He has been a CPR Instructor since 1997.
Allen resides in Bremen, Georgia with his wife and two children both of whom attend the University of West Georgia. Katrin is just beginning her senior year in the School of Nursing and Ally is a sophomore in the Psychology Program.
William “Bill” Hightower is a lifelong resident of Haralson County. Bill began working in the family business when he was sixteen years old – washing cars and driving ambulance. He graduated from Bremen High School in 1985, Carroll Technical School as an Emergency Medical Technician in 1986, Metro Cardiac Tech Program in 1987 and Gupton Jones Mortuary College in 1989.
He is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer, Cardiovascular Technician and Critical Care Paramedic and is fully involved in the operations at Hightower Family Funeral Homes, Forest lawn Cemetery and the daily operations of Ambucare, Inc. ambulance service.
Bill is currently a member of Higgins Hospital Authority Board of Directors, Haralson County Chamber of Commerce, Tallapoosa Lions Club, Haralson County 911 User Board and many more affiliations past and present.
Jennifer Wolcott, Board Member, has been involved in EMS since 2010 when she obtained her EMT license in Florida. After moving to Georgia in 2011, she decided to further her EMS education by attending the Paramedic Program at Faithful Guardian Training Center. It wasn’t long before took on an active role at the school, operating at different times as the Assistant Program Director, Clinical Coordinator, and Lead Instructor. After her graduation from Faithful Guardian, Jen also worked full-time in the field as a paramedic with Puckett EMS in Cobb County, GA, before returning to her home at Faithful Guardian in 2018. She initially joined the team again as the Training and Development Coordinator before stepping into the role of Program Director of the EMS Programs. She currently lives in Carrollton with her husband of 18 years, her young daughter, and a various assortment of animals and family members.
Jordan was born in Carrollton, Georgia. She graduated Newnan High School and attended Jacksonville State University her first year in college. She is currently working on her Business Administration degree at the West Georgia Technical College. As the Campus Director, Jordan monitors and maintains all aspects of campus operations. She consistently works in accordance with the mission, core values and purposes of the school. She develops and monitors both short-term and long-term strategic plans for the campus while working with the education department to oversee the Recovery and Retention Program. Jordan aids in guiding and monitoring all aspects of academics to ensure that quality educational opportunities are provided to students.
Jordan reports to the Executive Board and to the West Georgia Regional Emergency Education Coalition on a quarterly basis. She works side by side with the Dean of Education, FGTC admissions assistants, the business and financial departments, and other supervisory and support staff as necessary. Jordan’s ultimate goal is creating a student experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
Thomas Woodruff, Board Member, has worked for both private and public emergency fire/ems agencies for over 27 years. He has held management positions for over 20 years and possesses a B. S. in Health Studies. His professional certifications include instructor credentials for the State Office of EMS/T, Critical Care EMT-Paramedic, and he currently is a Lieutenant at Douglas County Fire Department. His professional background includes emergency services, operations, service delivery, education and training, quality assurance, personnel management, human resources, and product procurement. His extended background with emergency medicine/fire/rescue emergencies provides Thomas with the experience and insight needed to manage a public safety training facility and to serve the ever changing EMS field in new and exciting ways.