First Responders Update

By Kelly Gordon -
President, First Responders

As I write this article, it is almost Thanksgiving, and Christmas is right around the corner.  I’ve decided to write about what the Skidaway Island First Responders are most thankful for this year.

When we show up at a medical call, it might be hard to differentiate between the paid personnel and us. They are amazing and are OUR FAMILY.

We have three paid Paramedics on our island. They work 24 and sometimes 48-hour shifts. These three individuals not only make our jobs easier, but they are THE REASON we can do what we do for this community. Let me introduce you to them so that you realize how lucky this island truly is.

Dale Simmons started at Chatham Emergency Services (formerly Southside Fire) in May of 2008. He has been in fire and EMS for 19 years. He became a Paramedic in 2009. Dale has worked on the island since 2011 and teaches our First Responder classes. He is the Pastor at Jasper Springs Baptist Church and has been the Chaplain for Chatham Emergency Services since 2011. He and his wife of 42 years, Kim, have three children and 10 grandchildren. Recently, Dale got hurt while doing his job and has been on medical leave from our island since February. We all pray he is back very soon! He has been sorely missed.

Tommy Parker began his career as a volunteer firefighter for Garden City Fire in 1983. He became an EMT in 1983. He started with Chatham County EMS at that time and continued as a volunteer in Garden City. In 1985 he became a Paramedic. In 2001 he went to work full-time for Chatham Emergency Services as a firefighter and Paramedic. He has worked on Skidaway since 2003. WHEN Tommy has a day off, he enjoys photographing trains and running his part-time disc jockey service. EXTRA SHOUT OUT TO TOMMY...Since Dale got hurt in February, he has worked 95% of Dale’s shifts. That means he has worked mostly 48 shifts on this island for nine months.

Matthew Waters has been with Chatham Emergency Services since 2011 when he started as an EMT. In 2012 he became a firefighter and Paramedic. He worked as a Field Training Officer for Chatham Emergency Services and co-created a Mobile Integrated Healthcare System functioning as the Operations Coordinator. He started working on Skidaway in 2017. Matthew wears two hats. When he is not working a 24-or-48-hour shift on the island, he is a Realtor for Coldwell Banker. Matthew and his wife, Victoria, who he met in the emergency room years ago where she works as a Registered Nurse, married in 2015 and have lived on Skidaway Island for three years. They love traveling as much as time allows considering their hectic and busy careers.

All three of these humble, loyal, smart, and generous men protect and serve this community. They show up for us every single day. When we leave for evacuations, they stay to protect our beautiful island and are the first to pick up the debris when bad weather leaves its mark.

Thank you, Dale, Tommy, and Matthew, for your tireless and selfless service. We are so blessed and thankful for everything you do!

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.