By Kathy Jefcoats
RIVERDALE — A reception will be held today to honor retiring Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Chief Jeff Hood.
The 10 a.m. reception will be held at the fire station on Battlecreek Road in Jonesboro.
Hood, 53, has worked in fire services since 1978 when he was 19. He was promoted to chief April 5, 2011, after serving as interim since Christmas Day 2010.
Hood had been a Clayton firefighter since September 1978 and immediately immersed himself into additional training, said Assistant Chief Landry Merkison. Hood got his paramedic certification in 1981 and over the years has served as paramedic sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy chief and assistant chief of emergency operations.
He is a level 3 paramedic instructor and Georgia certified emergency manager. He is enrolled in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Institute and was recently chosen to join top personnel from the public and private sector on the Governor’s Homeland Security Task Force.
Hood is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs, Georgia Association of Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Managers Association of Georgia, Metro Atlanta Fire Chiefs’ Association, Georgia Department of Public Health Region III EMS Council and Association, and the County Commissioners of Georgia Public Safety and Courts Committee.
Hood was also named the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Director of the Year in June. The award is presented every year by the directors division of Georgia Emergency Medical Services.
The awarding committee looks at several criteria in determining the winner, including the degree of involvement in both EMS and non-EMS related activities, contributions to EMS at the local, regional, state and national levels, the individual’s EMS education and EMS affiliations, work history and awards received, said GAEMS officials.
It is the first time the Clayton department had achieved statewide recognition.
The Hood family has lived in Clayton since the late 1800s with Jeff Hood making his home in Rex with his wife of 29 years, Suzanne.