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The Khaki & Blue News-2016-Issue # 3

EMS WEEK 2016 EMS Week 2016


All About Associates (Family Feature)


Dispatch Diary

Let’s Get Clinical


Training & Education


#SocialMedia Spotlight 8-11 Celebrations, Congrats 12-13 +Just for Fun In the Community


In Remembrance



s a large organization serving multiple counties, we know it’s nearly impossible to bring the whole team together in one place. This year, as in years past, Community Ambulance celebrated National EMS Week by holding celebrations in each division of operation. Whether it was by enjoying pancakes at one of the locally owned restaurants or grilling steaks outside the training room, each division chose their own, unique way to celebrate this special week.

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“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”- Barbara Bush Team Members Share Recent Family Snapshots Whether it’s through encouraging words after a long shift, offering love and understanding after a particularly trying call, or knowing that you have inspired the next generation, one thing is certain… family matters! Pictured: (first row, left-right) daughter of Upson Paramedic Andrew Hand; Macon Paramedic Eric Johnson, his father Paramedic Tim Johnson & Eric’s son, Hunter Johnson; son of Upson Paramedic Casey Harris. (second row, left to right) Lamar EMT Bill Crane with granddaughter Abigail Stevens; EMT Melinda Worth, EMT Brandon Worth & Paramedic Daniel Worth in Mitchell Co.. (third row, left to right) EMT Daniel Abair & his son; EMT Larry Morrell with his wife & son. *Coming up in the next issue: “Associates & their Pets.” Submit your photos by Sept. 1!



The Khaki & Blue News-2016-Issue # 3




enae McNease recently joined the Community Ambulance team, accepting the position of Communications Manager. Born and Raised in Atlanta, Renae is a mother of four (DaShawn 15, Serenity 13, Faith 11, DaReon 9). Renae comes to Community Ambulance with an impressive background of over 14 years in Public Safety. Having worked as a dispatcher, supervisor, training officer, quality assurance manager and communications manager in the Atlanta area for many years, Renae brings a wealth of experience to her new role at CA (see more about Renae’s impressive résumé, right). In addition to raising four children, working fulltime and serving in the Air National Guard, Renae is currently pursuing her B.A. in emergency and Disaster Management through the American Military University. Welcome to the team, Renae!

TEAM MEMBER STATS  DeKalb County, Dispatcher  Gwinnett County, Dispatcher, Training Officer, Supervisor  City of Roswell, Training Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Interim Communications Manager  GA P.O.S.T. Instructor, Field Training Officer (FTO), Basic Communications Officer (BCO)  APCO Communications Training Officer (CTO), and CALEA Accreditation Manager  IAED Medical dispatcher and Q (EMD, EMD-Q) Fire Dispatcher and Q (EFD, EFD-Q) Police Dispatcher and Q (EPD, EPD-Q)  Staff Sergeant (SSgt) in the Air National Guard as an Emergency Manager  5 years total in the South Carolina Air National Guard; started out as a jet engine mechanic for the F16 Fighter jets

DEPARTMENT UPDATES FROM RENAE Since accepting her new role at Community Ambulance, Renae has hit the ground running. In only a few weeks, the dispatch center has made great progress, including: *rolling out a new training program, including bi-weekly training bulletins *Gaining 1 new dispatcher *Hosting a Communications Training Associate/Supervisor course, scheduled for July 25th and July 27th .

*Accomplishing 100% early participation in the monthly Continuing Dispatch Education (CDE). The department was rewarded by getting to wear jeans on Fridays, throughout the month of July. *Piloting a new shift: Mid Shift, (11a – 11p) and training new Associates on the shift .

The Khaki & Blue News-2016-Issue # 3

Photo courtesy of ACCG,2016


Although “telemedicine” has been a popular topic of conversation in EMS for several years, Community Ambulance is one of the only agencies that is actually using telemedicine technology to treat patients on a regularly scheduled basis. “As with any new program, there are challenges to overcome; however the telemedicine visits go more smoothly every time we set up, as we and the providers become more comfortable and familiar with the equipment and the process.” -John Russ, Paramedic/Telemedicine Project Manager



n a hot July morning in Seminole County, Telemedicine Project Manager and Paramedic John Russ pulls into the driveway of his first patients for the day, Ronald and Jackie Young. John greets the Youngs and promptly begins setting up the telemedicine kit. The portable kit was custom-designed by Community Ambulance medics and is currently being used to treat around eighteen patients who have enrolled in CA’s pilot program in Seminole and Cook Counties. As John establishes the necessary connectivity and dials Medical Director Dr. Ralph Griffin to begin the appointment, Ronald and Jackie share that they have each “seen the doctor” via Community Ambulance, numerous times. Ronald explains that although thankfully neither he, nor his wife, suffer from any serious illnesses, the program has made managing their everyday healthcare needs far more convenient. Before telemedicine became available, Ronald and Jackie would have to spend an entire day travelling from their home in rural Georgia to get to a local doctor. Since gaining access to regular “check ups” with Dr. Griffin via telemedicine, however, the couple has been able to monitor their health conditions and stay healthier as a result. How it Works By using the CA Telemedicine kit, the paramedic is able to establish a secure wireless connection to the physician. The kit includes everything the medic needs in order to accurately capture patient vitals, as well as closely examine the patient’s eyes, skin, ears, nose and throat. The kit’s two way tablet screen allows the patient and the physician to see and hear one another. The medic works with the physician in order to fully assess the patient’s physical condition, utilizing the kit’s diagnostic tools. In Jackie and Ronald’s case, Dr. Griffin is able to gain a clearer understanding of each of their conditions, by getting to “see” them more frequently than would be possible in an office environment. This valuable patient follow up results in more accurate diagnoses and healthier patients, long term. *Names have been changed to protect patient privacy

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real-time, offering clinical oversight A new tool, FirstPass, will allow at a whole new level. The Community Ambulance to take clinical system will also allow us to quality improvement to the next level. more effectively analyze This measurement and monitoring tool is patient care by measuring designed to collect, filter and analyze specific occurrences, such various trends in the care our crews as STEMI patients, pain provide each day. In doing so, the management, cardiac program is designed to recognize arrest, stroke, airway deviations in expected treatments, management and more. allowing us to have continual oversight over our clinical performance, overall. Key Benefits of FirstPass The FirstPass program will have the  Real-time automated QA/QI capability of recognizing deviations from  Measure Protocol Compliance medical protocols, missing data or documents and overall clinical  Enhance Documentation Quality performance. Essentially, FirstPass will  Provide Meaningful Feedback analyze all of the data and information  Save Time & Resources CA has always monitored and filter it in




 Monitor Medic Performance

ccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1,000 healthcare workers in the hospital setting are injured with a needle or other What are your chanc- sharp device each day. If unintentional needle sticks happen es of infection from a so frequently in the hospital environment, imagine how easily contaminated sharps they can happen in the mobile environment of the ambulance. In order to ensure the safety of our associates, our patients injury? and everyone around us, it is crucial that we Hepatitis B: make proper sharps disposal a priority. 1 in 5 (if you’re not What if you get stuck in a dangerous situation? vaccinated) Accidents happen! Report the incident to your Hepatitis C: operations manager (or the supervisor on 1 in 50 duty), immediately! Your health and safety are the priority, so don’t hesitate to report any HIV: 1 in 300 potential exposure! Source:

SHOP TALK The Mitchell County fleet recently experienced an upgrade in the form of a “new” bariatric unit. Truck number 17, formerly a Baker County ambulance, was purchased when Community Ambulance became the official EMS provider for the county. The truck was recently repurposed and updated with amenities such as power load stretchers, for bariatric transport.

MEDICAL DIRECTOR TOURS THE STATE CA Medical Director, Dr. Ralph Griffin, recently travelled the state visiting each Community Ambulance division of operation. Dr. Griffin met with associates from each division in order to gather crew feedback and insight about daily operations, protocols and trends in patient care.

The Khaki & Blue News-2016-Issue # 3


The CA EMS Academy has been in celebration mode as the Macon and South GA EMTb courses wrap up and students take their National Registry Exams. Additionally, as the Macon EMTb course reaches conclusion, nine of the Bearamedics (pre-health undergraduate students from Mercer University) have successfully completed the National Registry exam on the first attempt and eight of the Mercer students have already been hired for employment. The program has been so popular among Mercer students that the university has opted to offer internship credit for students who complete this unique program, offered only by Community Ambulance for the 2016/2017 academic year.


The Khaki & Blue News-2016-Issue # 3

ENRICHMENT THROUGH EDUCATION In response to the increasing numbers of motor vehicle accidents involving emergency vehicles, the Lamar/Upson divisions recently held a highway safety informational session. Director of West GA Operations, Jeff McDuffie, invited former GSP Trooper and crash investigator, Truman Boyle, to speak about due regard while operating an emergency vehicle. “He then opened our eyes to become more aware of our surroundings. He did a great job and those in attendance enjoyed it,” explains McDuffie.

On July 13th, CA team members Joe Leverette, James Register, Gerald Hatcher, Jason West, Kyle Cooper, Jason Todd, John Holley, and Rusty Stewart attended and successfully completed the 16 hour IDTN Technician course. Quality Improvement Manager/ CA Paramedic, Lane Kilpatrick, also attended the course. “Obtaining Technician level status with the Infectious Disease Transport Network greatly increases our company’s ability to safely transport patients with highly infectious diseases. Community Ambulance already has a large presence in this specialized transport field. Having Technician level team members greatly increases our value to the state of Georgia IDTN system, and elevates our company even higher in becoming the best service we can be,” explains Lane.



The American Heart Association will soon release new guidelines for Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). The updates are slated to release in August 2016. Once the AHA releases the new PALS guidelines, Community Ambulance associates will be encouraged to take the course. As an incentive for completing the course under the new guidelines, Community Ambulance is offering $500 to each associated who successfully completes the course. The PALS course will be offered through the Community Ambulance training center. Stay tuned for more information regarding course dates and locations.




Special feature:

The Khaki & Blue News-2016-Issue # 3


about CA ‘s social media presence on Pg. 10).


WLTX, South Carolina

study conducted by Pew Research Center indicates that as of July 2015, 76% of online adults used social networking sites. One year later, we can assume this percentage continues to climb. The growing popularity of social media platforms has allowed people of all ages and demographics to connect with one another from almost anywhere around the world. When Posts Pose a Threat Although social media and online networking provides obvious value in today’s society, many industries are finding its impact to be more threatening than beneficial. In the last few years, both public safety, as well as the healthcare industry have undergone intense scrutiny as a result of social media missteps. In an age where almost everyone is carrying a smart phone, healthcare and public safety professionals must always remain cognizant that anything they say or do could be photographed or recorded and uploaded within seconds. Furthermore, these professionals must also keep in mind that just because they think only their closest friends will see something they have said or posted on their personal profile, doesn’t mean that material is actually kept private. Adapting in the Digital Age As a result of the growing emphasis being placed on “life online,” many organizations, especially in the healthcare industry, are being forced to adapt accordingly. In 2016, Community Ambulance introduced new updates to the Associate Handbook in an effort to make our policies more clear, current and effective. The majority of these updates pertain to policies #200-004 (Social Media Policy) and #200-005 (Use of Cell Phones/ PDA’s at Work Unauthorized Photos, Videos and Recordings). The Pensacola News Journal

OUR COMMUNITY Social Media is NOT a bad thing. IN fact, social media has become a major player in the way information is dispersed. In order to continue to grow, recruit and provide our patients and associates with important information, Community Ambulance regularly engages with a variety of social media platforms (more

Continued on page 9

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200-004, Pg. 25 “The same principles and guidelines and our core values apply to your activities online. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Before creating online content, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved…”

Even when you’re off duty, you represent Community Ambulance. While you are entitled to your beliefs and opinions, keep in mind how they can directly impact our associates, our organization and ultimately, our industry.

200-004, Pg. 26 “Do not post pictures or information about our patients as these types of postings violate HIPAA privacy laws. Using or disclosing Protected Heath Information (PHI) on social media sites is strictly prohibited.”

Even if a patient grants you verbal permission to photograph them, it is a violation of their rights to do so. If you wish to take a photograph with a patient at an event, etc., the patient must sign a Community Ambulance photo release form. Your operations manager can assist you in obtaining this form.

200-005, pg. 29 “...the use of camera or other videocapable recording devices at Community Ambulance, or in any CA vehicles, is prohibited without the express prior permission of senior management and of the person (s) present at the time.”

If you are simply hanging out at a post or waiting to be dispatched to your next call, DON’T be tempted to take photos.

“Professionalism is vital to public safety and the public’s confidence in us. We deal with people at their most vulnerable time-when either they or someone they love is injured and we’re holding their life in our hands (sometimes literally). We cannot afford to lose the public’s trust due to an inappropriate social media post.”-Kacy Keene, Community Ambulance Compliance & Security Officer

What is OK (and encouraged!): Taking photos (or having someone take your photo) at community events, health fairs, etc.. Not sure what’s allowed and what’s not? Ask your operations manager!

*The Associate Handbook is available in the Documents Section on E-Pro.

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Special Feature (Continued):

MEDIA “So why does CA participate in social media, if it’s so controversial?” Social Media, though potentially hazardous when misused, has become a huge part of our culture. Despite the possible risks associated with misuse, the benefits of engaging through social media are far too obvious to ignore. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, allow organizations like Community Ambulance to connect with associates, the public and job seekers. By engaging through social media, we are able to increase the impact of our organization. As with most any “power,” social media must be used for ‘good’ and not ‘evil.’

COMMUNITY AMBULANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA So how does Community Ambulance use social media (for good)? FACEBOOK: It’s all about connecting and sharing! Facebook has become the most popular and effective way to gather contacts, news and information in general. Community Ambulance regularly posts announcements for associates, health and safety news for the public, and photos of recent events and associate achievements. TWITTER: Let’s face it… our attention span, as media consumers, has continued to shortened drastically with the technological advance of each generation. According to a 2015 study by Microsoft Corp., the average attention span for an adult is approximately 8 seconds. Twitter, one of the most popular platforms for dispersing information, allows us to get any message out in 140 characters or less. YOUTUBE: If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be invaluable. Youtube has become an excellent resource for everything from instructional videos, to bloopers. The Community Ambulance YouTube channel allows us to post videos about our organization. LINKEDIN: As one of the state’s largest and most influential emergency services, it’s crucial that Community Ambulance stay connected and visible to potential job seekers. LinkedIn provides a great way for CA to connect with medics seeking employment, as well as with other agencies and EMS professionals. PINTEREST: Pinterest’s role in social media has become far more than a site for collecting recipes and craft ideas. Pinterest allows almost any type of organization or group to collect and organize helpful ideas, all in one place. The CA Pinterest “boards” contain EMS industry news, health and safety information and helpful clinical resources for providers.

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Please note: the examples on this page are staged photos, intended to provide helpful information, as well as humor.

JUST TO RE-CAP, WHAT NOT TO POST... Don’t use social media while on duty! This includes posting on any social media platform including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Don’t post anything from inside an ambulance, post, station or any other CA location. While a selfie may seem harmless enough, photos from the workplace increases the risk of patient information being unintentionally exposed. Don’t use social media as a platform for anger or ranting. Don’t “Check in” ANYWHERE while on duty. In order to protect our patients and our associates, it is never acceptable to disclose your physical location while on duty.

Postive Ways to utilize Social Media

And What’s OK to Post... Do: Post articles, tricks and tips promoting awareness about safety topics, such as driving around emergency vehicles. Do: Send pictures of fellow associates at community events, job fairs, etc. to our PR department in order for them to be shared on one of our official company pages and in the Khaki & Blue News. Do: understand the important role you play to our patients and even future patients. Being a CA team member means you are a representative of our organization…

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MEDIC HONORED BY LOCAL ROTARY CLUB Upson Paramedic James George was recently named the 2016 Thomaston-Upson Rotary Club Medic of the Year. Paramedic George has been a paramedic for 23 years and has been a member of the CA team since 2014, when Community Ambulance became the provider for Upson county. Along with his paramedic duties, James has served as Coroner of Upson since 2010, a position to which we was re-elected for in May, 2016.   Congratulations, James George, and thank you for all you do for Upson county and the Community Ambulance team!

Macon Paramedic Eric Johnson and his wife, Amy Johnson, recently celebrated the birth of their second son, Hunter Brooks Johnson (April 27, 2016). Pictured, left: Eric and Hunter

On June 12, Operations Manager Ann Lamb celebrated the birth of her seventh grandchild, granddaughter Hanna Lynnlee Lamb. Pictured, Right: Ann and Lynnlee

Billing specialist Laurie McDanial recently celebrated her engagement to Christopher Liberto. Laurie and Christopher are planning their wedding for May, 2017. Pictured, right: Laurie and her fiancé, Christopher.

Photo courtesy of the Upson Beacon, July 6



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KHAKI & BLUE SCAVENGER HUNT As you read the news of CA You’ll find some random things, sprinkled along the way. From a riddle or rhyme, some combing you’ll do To locate these items in the Khaki & Blue! I.

The “G” we wield when the dawgs take the field.


Hunger’s no game, you must steak your claim!

III. Alot can be said for a dozen in red IV. 12 + 4 on this truck’s door. V.

No reason to frown, it’s not a thumb down!

VI. Two Bears, no THREE… but no Goldie Locks we see. Use the clues above to locate random items in photos throughout this newsletter. Send a list of the page numbers and photo descriptions of where they were each found to by Sept. 1 to win a prize!

PARAMEDIC RECOGNIZED FOR National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference, the largest ROLE IN MODEL UN Model UN conference in the world, with

Seminole County Paramedic Charles Avery was recently recognized for playing an integral role in the Georgia Southern Model UN Delegation, which received national attention. The following article was recently published by the local online newspaper. Excerpt from the Miller County Liberal, May 2016: Charles Avery of Colquitt is a member of Georgia Southern’s Model UN delegation that returned from the

an Outstanding Delegation Award. The award was Georgia Southern’s seventh such award in the last eight years, and ninth in 10 years. Georgia Southern was also recognized for Outstanding Position Paper Writing for the 14th time in 15 years. The team competed against more than 200 schools from around the world, and more than 3,600 delegates. (Full article available

Congratulations to Charles and the Georgia Southern Model UN Delegates!

A CULTURE OF GIVING As one of the many hats she wears at Community Ambulance, Administrative Assistant Shirley Robinson oversees the orientation of new hires. During orientation, Shirley is responsible for introducing new hires to the Community Health Foundation and the payroll deduction giving program. The payroll deduction option allows each associate the opportunity to contribute the foundation, which serves people (including CHS associates) in need throughout the state of Georgia. In the first eleven months of this fiscal year, Shirley helped 50 new hires sign up to make donations through payroll deduction. This means that other than Ethica Health (who has over 20 times the number of associates of Community Ambulance), Community Ambulance had the greatest number of new associates enroll in the giving program, of any CHS member organization. Thank you, Shirley, for helping us help others!

KEENE PUBLISHED IN MACON MAGAZINE Macon Magazine is an award winning bi-monthly publication with an estimated 45,000 readers per issue. The April/ May issue of the magazine features the annual report from the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, spanning roughly 16 pages. Included in this featured section is an article written by Community Ambulance Compliance and Security Officer, Kacy Keene. Keene is a member of the 2015 class of Leadership Macon, an organization of young professionals and upcoming leaders from throughout the Macon community. Keene’s article provided an overview of the 2015 class project, the revitalization of a frequently travelled alleyway, and the project’s impact on downtown Macon. Read Kacy’s article on pg. 45 of the April/May issue, also available online at

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COMMUNITY PROMOTING SAFETY. EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY. LENDING A HAND. CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY The Community Ambulance team makes a great impact on each community we serve, each and every day. Whether it’s by leaving a lasting impression on a patient or making an appearance at a local elementary school career day, what our associates do each day truly matters. Clockwise, from left: Mitchell County EMT Melinda Worth attends the annual Gnat Days Touch a Truck in Camilla; Mitchell County Paramedic Dennis Thompson receives a surprise visit from a former patient who wanted to show her gratitude for the great care she received; Macon crew, Paramedic Lisa McGuire and EMT Jennifer Minyard, received a visit (and homemade cake) from a patient who wanted to thank the crew for providing excellent care.


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adly, drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-5 in the United States and Georgia ranks 3rd for the state with the highest number of drownings nationwide.

So why are so many Georgia children falling victim to something so preventable? Recently, the Training & Education department was approached by the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in central Georgia. After the recent drownings of two Central Georgia DFCS foster children within a thirty day time span, the Department of Children and Family Services began requiring foster parents to take a water safety education course, in hopes of preventing tragic accidents involving water. After doing some research, the CA Training and Education department discovered that there are currently no water safety courses available in the area. As a result, the training department took action and began developing a new educational initiative in hopes of meeting the needs of the local DFCS and ultimately, preventing water related injuries and death among children in Georgia. Paramedic and Professional Scuba Diver and member of the Macon-Bibb Water Rescue team, Derek Uburtis, was tasked with developing a curriculum for the “Wise in the Water” courses, which officially launched in June.

“Considering the frequency of drownings in the state of Georgia, it is crucial that we as an organization take action by providing education to our community. Almost all drownings are preventable and through appropriate education, we can help parents recognize drowning risks in their very own home.” -Paramedic Derek Uburtis

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ay 5, 2016 will forever be remembered as a day of tragic loss. Macon-Bibb Deputy Sheriff Anthony Joseph “T.J.” Freeman, was killed in a motor vehicle crash, while in pursuit of a suspect . At the age of only 29, T.J. was an accomplished officer, serving as a canine handler and member of the K9 unit, SWAT Team and Special Investigation Unit, in addition to completing several advanced law enforcement certifications. T.J leaves behind his beloved wife of 7 and a half years, Jessica, his children Braden and Blaiklyn and his canine partner, Bojar (Boy-er). Officer Freeman was laid to rest on May 9 at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens, following a memorial service at the Macon Centreplex. Representatives from public safety agencies from across the state followed in the funeral processional to pay their respects for the fallen officer. T.J. Freeman will forever be remembered for paying the ultimate sacrifice in serving his community.

A FRIEND FIRST Community Ambulance Paramedic Andrew Woodard become friends with T.J. Freeman several years ago. Andrew says “He was more than a friend, he was literally like a brother to me. We were introduced after our wives became close friends. The Freemans quickly became our best friends.” Years of Adventures Over their many years of friendship, the Woodard and Freeman families went on countless adventures. Andrew says “T.J. taught me how to field dress a deer, which I had never done. I helped him fix things around his house, which he wasn’t particularly talented at. We were constantly taking on crazy projects together. I always knew when he called me and said ‘hey buddy, what are you doing?,’ that it probably meant that I was about to be lifting something heavy. It was always an adventure.”

“Most people remember ‘the cop, T.J.’ To me, though, he was ‘T.J., who also happened to be a cop.’” -Andrew Woodard

Andrew remembers T.J. as a carefree, energetic friend who was always the life of the party. “Other than fixing stuff around the house, there was nothing T.J. couldn’t do and do well. He was the person that everybody wanted to spend time with,” recalls Andrew. As an officer, T.J. was known for his ambition. In his seven year career, T.J. had already accomplished so much. “Anything he wanted to accomplish, he did. He was a canine handler, narcotics officer, and a member of the SWAT team. He was always professional and passionate about his career,” explains Andrew. In the months following T.J.’s tragic death, the Freeman family, as well as the entire Macon-Bibb community, have mourned the loss of a true hero. While the loss of T.J. will forever be felt, his impact on those around him will forever be cherished. “My wife, Kimberly, and I are close friends with Jessica and TJ’s parents. Kimberly and I consider them family,” says Andrew.

The Khaki & Blue News, 2016 issue#3  
The Khaki & Blue News, 2016 issue#3