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Four firefighters honored for 30 years of service

Shown here are county officials, honored firefighters and their family members during a recognition ceremony held recently. They are, left to right, Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, Fire Chief Dan Morgan, Tony Mann, son of the late Capt. Anthony Mann; Cindy Mann, widow of Anthony Mann; Lt. Hank Mann and his wife Debbie; Lt. Ray Murphy and wife Stacey; Lt. Kail Mann; Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness; Lt. Keith Dunn and wife Kay; Chief Joel Yoder; and Commission Chairman Richard Oden. Special Photo

Shown here are county officials, honored firefighters and their family members during a recognition ceremony held recently. They are, left to right, Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, Fire Chief Dan Morgan, Tony Mann, son of the late Capt. Anthony Mann; Cindy Mann, widow of Anthony Mann; Lt. Hank Mann and his wife Debbie; Lt. Ray Murphy and wife Stacey; Lt. Kail Mann; Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness; Lt. Keith Dunn and wife Kay; Chief Joel Yoder; and Commission Chairman Richard Oden. Special Photo

CONYERS -- Four firefighters with Rockdale County Fire and Rescue were honored recently for 30 years of service to the county.

Interim Captain Jeffrey Kail Mann, Lt. Hank Mann, Lt. James Keith Dunn and Lt. Ray Murphy each received a certificate and a collection of pins at the Dec. 11 Board of Commissioners meeting commemorating their achievements.

Fire Chief Dan Morgan provided some background on the career of each recipient during the presentation, saying, "It's very easy to be the chief of a department with employees like this."

Lt. Dunn joined the department in 1982 and has been a fire apparatus operator since 1990, according to Morgan. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2011. In addition to his work as an apparatus operator, Dunn has been an EMT for more than 25 years. He also served as assistant chief of the Monticello Fire Department. He is currently assigned to Station 1 on Sigman Road.

Dunn and his wife Kay have two sons, Clint and John Phillip. Dunn is a graduate of Rockdale County High School and has lived in Rockdale since 1993. Morgan said when Dunn is off duty he can often be found rabbit and deer hunting.

Lt. Hank Mann has spent most of his career with Rockdale Fire and Rescue at Station 7 as a fire apparatus operator. Morgan said he is one of the department's experts in pump tests, ladder tests, hose tests and hydrants. Morgan said Mann is quite popular at the fire stations due to his excellent cooking skills.

Mann was promoted to fire apparatus operator in 1990 and promoted to lieutenant in 2011. He is assigned to Station 3.

Mann and his wife Debbie live in Rockdale County. His interests include deer hunting and boating.

In accepting his award, Mann paid tribute to his older brother, the late Captain Anthony (Yogi) Mann, who retired from the department in 2011 with 33 years of service.

"Out of the years I've been around and the people I've met, there's only one thing I can hope for," he said, "that I've touched some of the people I've met in the way my older brother has touched so many."

Morgan described Interim Captain Kail Mann, another of the fire-fighting Mann brothers, as a dedicated firefighter who has also worked as an EMT for the Walton County Ambulance Service. Morgan said Kail Mann was hired in 1982, promoted to fire apparatus operator in 1990, promoted to lieutenant in 2011 and promoted to interim captain in 2012.

In addition to his firefighter duties, Morgan said Kail Mann became a certified electrical contractor and started his own business, Mann Electric Inc., in 1996.

"Since the beginning of his career, Kail has been a dedicated employee rendering his skills as an electrician to repair and maintain county property, usually using his own time, materials, and money for 'the good of the county,'" said Morgan. "The knowledge and skill set that Kail brings to the table is never ending. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty or to pass along his knowledge to others."

Morgan also noted that the late Captain Mann had suggested that Kail and Hank apply for jobs with the fire department in 1982.

"Collectively, the Mann brothers have served Rockdale County over 90 years," said Morgan.

Lt. Ray Murphy, a native of Ellenwood, was the sixth of eight children. He joined the Fire Department in 1982 and has also worked several second jobs -- including construction, welding, delivery driver and paramedic.

Morgan said Murphy plans to retire in 2013, after which he and his wife Stacey will move to family property in North Carolina. There Murphy plans to farm, fish, travel and relax.

In addition to the 30-year awards, Jackie Lunsford, deputy director of Rockdale County Recreation and Senior Services, and George Archer, an employee with Rockdale Water Resources, were honored for 20 years of service to the county.

"I started with Rockdale Senior Services in 1992, and I can still say I have a wonderful job and I work with really talented people who are dedicated to the senior citizens of Rockdale County," said Lunsford.