Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services/Community Collaboration

to the

Firefighter/EMT Pathway Program


Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services

Chief Landry Merkison
Deputy Chief Rich Elliott
Battalion Chief Ann Hall
Captain Jody Weller
Captain Trent Baker

Clayton County Board of Commissioners

Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory


Clayton County Public School System

Dr. William Greene
Mr. Gary Townsend
Mr. Emory Arnold

Occasionally, one comes across someone or something that is just way beyond the norm. That is how we, at The Ronnie Thames Foundation, felt back in 2017, when we first heard about the Firefighter/EMT Pathway program going on over in Clayton County. What a great idea! How wonderful for the students and the community! Twelve (12) students began a three (3) year program that, when completed, would offer them, among other things, the ability to become a well-educated person; that would enable them to instantly become a positive contributor to society; that would enable them to become self-sufficient; that would afford them the ability to monetarily sustain themselves, because, as promised, Fire Chief Landry Merkison hired all 12 of them immediately upon graduation from high school! The Foundation feels this is a tremendously worthy recipient of this award! We see that it can and has been done and done successfully by Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, and the Clayton County Public School System! We think this program should be offered to students all over Georgia!

We are not sure when or if the Founders Award will be given again, but we all agree this program is well deserving of it!