Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Valdosta Fire Department Chief Freddie Broome honored Lt. Jeffrey Talley as the September 2017 Employee of the Month at the Sept. 21 City Council meeting. Lt. Talley received a framed certificate and a check for $200, and his name appears on a plaque displayed in City Hall.
Lt. Talley has been employed with the VFD for 17 years and is responsible for managing the daily operations at the company level, supervising two to three employees, and assuming command during emergency incidents.
In April, VFD firefighters responded to two separate structure fires which resulted in four dogs being rescued. Three out of the four dogs survived. One of the dogs suffered from smoke inhalation and required assistance by SGMC EMS. Since pet oxygen masks were not available, EMS used a human oxygen mask to provide oxygen to the dog until the dog’s breathing returned to normal.
This incident spurred Lt. Talley to research resources for pets suffering from smoke inhalation. He soon discovered and contacted a company called Invisible Fence® who donates pet oxygen masks through their Project Breathe.
Lt. Talley’s initiative led to the VFD receiving a donated supply of one oxygen mask kit per engine truck containing a small, medium and large mask that fits most domesticated animals. Firefighters on all Valdosta engine companies are now efficiently trained to administer oxygen with the new masks to animals who suffer from smoke inhalation.
The City of Valdosta applauds Lt. Jeffrey Talley for his initiative and dedication, for seeing a need and providing a solution, and for being named the September 2017 Employee of the Month.