This week's Hometown Public Servant is Timmy Oliver, volunteer fire fighter and first responder 20-08 with Twin City Volunteer Fire Department.
Oliver, a native of Emanuel County, grew up in the Summit area of Twin City and has always loved his small town. From riding bikes to skateboarding to rollerblading around the city for many years, Oliver credits his hometown as a safe town where crime is never really an issue. Oliver, along with his siblings, attended Twin City Primary and Emanuel County Institute. While enrolled in Twin City schools, Oliver crossed paths with Tiffany Clifton. The couple dated for many years and eventually married. Together, they have three children, Gunnar, 15; Kanyon, 14; and Blaise, 12.
"I love Twin City; it is home to me. All of my children attended TCE and are currently students at ECI middle and high school. I now outside of the city limits, but Twin City will always be home," Oliver commented.
Oliver has been a fire fighter for seven years, a first responder for six years, and served as the department's lieutenant for two years. He obtained his titles by completing certified volunteer fire fighter and first responder courses. What sparked his interest to serve the local community was a casual conversation held with a high school friend while waiting in a checkout line one day at a local store.
"It was a Tuesday afternoon. I was in a store when a high school friend was standing in the same checkout line as me. Twin City Fire Department had a drill that night, and a reminder was announced over his radio that the drill would begin at 7 p.m. Conversation sparked up about why he decided to be a volunteer fire fighter, and his answer kind of struck a nerve. His response was simple - 'If it wasn't for the volunteers, who would respond. It could be a while before someone could get to your house if it was to catch on fire.'
I really started thinking about other scenarios, as we don't only respond to fires. I thought about my family. If something was to happen to them, I would want someone there as fast as they could get there. So, I joined the department. Emanuel County has volunteers spread throughout the county. A lot of times, it's a volunteer who is first on scene before other units arrive and can give a size-up of the scene to other responding units," Oliver stated.
Oliver enjoys helping the people of his local community as well as the fellowship shared with other members of the volunteer fire department. The department hosts weekly meetings, excluding the first Wednesday of each month. During these sessions, fire fighters train and participate in setups organized by the department's captain and training officers in order to maintain at least 24 hours of required annual training.
In addition to conversation held with an old high school friend, Oliver gives credit for his desire to serve to his father, Ricky, who was also a volunteer fire fighter for the same department. According to Oliver, his father's footsteps not only led him to fight fires, it also prompted him to be a positive influence on local youth by serving as a volunteer coach with the Twin City Recreation Department.
"My dad was a volunteer fire fighter for Twin City, and he was also a coach. I guess I am a chip off the old block," Oliver stated during a recent interview.
Oliver coached baseball and softball for Twin City Recreation Department for 12 years until his son, Gunnar, became too old to play. He also occupied a seat on the recreation department's decision committee for four years. The committee helped Twin City Commissioners and the recreation department make decisions on improvement projects for the local rec. The committee eventually dissolved after the recreation department was joined by the Twin City - Emanuel County Recreation Department. Oliver was later appointed by the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners to serve on the Twin City - Emanuel County Recreation Department board, and still serves on this board today.
"I enjoy being active in the community. With the recreation department, I try to make the best decision for the kids. I also keep in consideration what is best for everyone involved and try my best to spend taxpayers’ money on necessities," Oliver further commented.
Oliver is one of three owners of Stitch-N-Print in Twin City and has been a company employee at this location for 20+ years. His hobbies include scuba diving, fishing, hunting, cooking, riding motorcycles, and spending time with his family.
When asked for public comments, Oliver stressed the importance of volunteers, first responders, and every employee in public servant uniforms.
"These folks are responding to possibly one of the worst days of your life. They don't get enough credit for what they do. When the call goes out, quite honestly, we don't know who or what we are responding to. These jobs are very rewarding but stressful; the men and women in public works go through a lot. Until you walk a mile in the shoes of a public servant, just be glad someone is there for you and your loved ones during difficult times.
Support received from our community, friends, and families means a lot. I would like to say thank you to the community and friends for their support. Most importantly, I would like to thank my family. They have been understanding of me arriving home late and leaving before they're up to respond to another call, or just me having to rest because I was up most of the night responding to the needs of the public. I am so thankful and proud of their support."