ron buchheit

It has been Gilmer County Fire Rescue's desire to transition to a new and progressive medical director that specializes in Emergency Medical Services. We are excited to introduce Dr. Ron Buchheit, MD as our new Medical Director.

The primary role of a medical director is to approve an EMS protocols, provide medical oversight, assist with directing and facilitating training for the Department, provide guidance to EMS personnel, and keep EMS protocols up to date with changes in the medical field. Dr. Buchheit comes to us with a specialty in Emergency Medicine, Prehospital/Disaster Medicine, and Emergency Medical Services. He is the Medical Director for Erlanger's Prehospital and Disaster Medicine and serves as the Medical Director for Region 1 of the State Office of EMS, which includes Gilmer County. Dr. Buchheit also has extensive experience serving as a Medical Director for EMS agencies in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

With this new partnership, Gilmer County Fire Rescue is in the process of updating all EMS protocols to be aggressive and broad, allowing us to deliver the highest level of care for our community. The following benefits will be seen with this transition.

  • A hands-on Medical Director
  • In service training on ALS/BLS protocols
  • Updated and more aggressive protocols
  • Increased accountability for our paramedics
  • Updated training on ALS trending practices in the field
  • Improved quality and level of service to our community
  • A medical Director that will advocate for our employees
  • Review patient reports on critical calls (Quality Assurance Program)
  • Provide a neutral party regarding conflicts with local receiving hospitals
  • 24/7 access to the Medical Director for patient care and protocol questions


What started as an ambitious endeavor for Gilmer County Fire Rescue, has finally become a
reality as of August 01, 2022. In an effort to increase the staffing for our fire rescue
department, we took the approach of training our own firefighters and EMT’s entirely in house
and using our own state certified instructors. This process has a twofold affect, first we recruit
local home-grown candidates with ties to their community, and secondly, we are able to train
our recruits operationally in the way we need them to function on EMS scenes and on the fire
The non-certified recruit program came to life in late 2021 as we launched our first Company
Officer Development Academy (CODA) for our future Lieutenants. While we were actively
training the future leadership of our department, command staff were quietly, but diligently
working behind the scenes to launch our first ever non-certified academy. Through a lot of
hard work, planning, determination, and logistical magic, we secured a start date for our non-
certified academy.
In early June of 2022, we advertised via the local newspaper and social media regarding our
upcoming opportunity to receive free fire and EMS training while at the same time being
compensated to attend training. We held 2 well attended open house events on June 9 and
June 14. Between both of the open house meetings, we generated 32 applications for our 15
non-certified positions. Through a process of background checks, driving records, physical
agility testing, and in person interviews, we finally identified our 15 candidates to start the
The non-certified program started on August 01, 2022 with the candidates attending training 40
hours a week. The Firefighter I and II portion is scheduled for completion on December 02,
2022. Upon completion of Firefighter I and II, the class will immediately transition to EMT-Basic
and then onto EMT-Advanced. The EMT-Basic and Advanced program is scheduled to conclude
at the end of April 2022. In early May of 2022, the now certified candidates will transition to a
regular 24-hour shift and supplementing our current staffing of fire rescue employees.
We are very optimistic that our non-certified academy will be great success for Gilmer County
Fire Rescue and the citizens that we serve. We are very pleased with our outstanding
Instructors, as well as the progress the candidates have made up to this point. We are very
thankful to our county commission for the support that they have given this new program, and
with continued support and funding, we hope to launch a second academy sometime in 2023.

This time of year, we see an uptick in outdoor burning. It's important to know the risks associated with outdoor burning to help keep you and our community safe. 

Click here for a fact sheet from the Georgia Foresty Commission about changes to the state outdoor burning notification system.

You can also learn more by checking out the information on outdoor burning on our website.

Welcome to the new Gilmer Fire Website!