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UPDATE: Local Schools Name Jasper Highlands Fire Trucks


This article was originally published on wrcbtv.com.


UPDATE: General Neyland, Big Squirt and Ole' Smokey are the names of the new firetrucks serving the Jasper Highlands Community. Elementary schools from Grundy, Marion, and Sequatichie Counties were a part of the naming contest that started on March 24th. 

The grand prize winner of the contest, Jasper Elementary School is taking home the grand prize of $10,000 for their firetruck name submission of ‘General Neyland’, in honor of the late University of Tennessee Coach Robert Neyland, which will become the name of the largest engine in the fleet. Richard Hardy Memorial School’s submission of ‘Big Squirt’ came in second place, which wins them $7,500. Both Griffith Elementary School and Whitwell Elementary School submitted the name ‘Ole’ Smokey’, which tied at third place, leaving both schools with $2,500 each, generously donated by Jasper Highlands. 

A press release said that over 7,000 votes were submitted by the general public. The four winning schools are invited to a picnic at Pat’s Summitt pavilion at Jasper Highlands this Saturday, April 2, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. CST (12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EST), where the checks will be presented.

PREVIOUS STORY: The naming contest for three new fire trucks that will serve the Jasper Highlands development is underway.

The names for the fire trucks have been submitted, and awards of $10,000, $7,500 and $2,500 will be donated to the schools that came up with the top three names as voted on by the public.

Voting starts Thursday, March 24 and ends at midnight on March 29.  Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 30, and the three winning schools will be invited to a picnic at Pat’s Summit at Jasper Highlands on Saturday, April 2 where the checks will be presented.

Participating schools are:

  • Jasper Elementary
  • Monteagle Elementary
  • South Pittsburg Elementary
  • Whitwell Elementary
  • Coalmont Elementary
  • Richard Hardy Memorial School
  • North Elementary
  • Palmer Elementary
  • Pelham Elementary
  • Swiss Memorial Elementary
  • Tracy City Elementary
  • Griffith Elementary

PREVIOUS STORY: Nearly 30 homes sit on top of Jasper Mountain and with more already in various stages of the building process, owner and developer John "Thunder" Thornton knows the private community known as Jasper Highlands needs good fire protection. 

"If one of our neighbors, if one of our homeowners ends up with a fire, we've got respond," Thornton said. 

Last Fall, Thornton learned the development didn't have the protection he thought it had after a small fire. Thornton says after the fire, he learned the Foster Falls Fire Department had previously decided it was not going to serve the Jasper Highlands community. 

"We thought we had protection and realized one day that we didn't and so we said, one day we really need to crank this thing up," he added. 

Four months later and now Thornton says the community is fully protected through the Jasper Highlands Volunteer Fire Department. It's equipped with three engines including a military style fire engine and manned by Thornton and 14 other volunteers trained to do the job. 

"How many people can go into a house, how many stay outside, but there's a lot of people that can carry the hoses and bring other materials so  not everyone has the rush into a burning inferno," he said. 

Now Thornton is turning to area elementary schools to help name the three engines but holding a contest among the 11 schools in Marion, Sequatchie and Grundy counties to come up with their best names and allowing the community to pick the winners. 

The top three names will be branded on the side of the trucks and the schools they came from will be awarded a grand prize. 

"All kids love fire trucks and all elementary schools, that I'm familiar with, need money. So it's a way for us to give back to local education. 

Thornton says the department is ready to respond to calls. 

Voting starts Thursday, March 24. Awards of $10,000, $7,500 and $2,500 will be donated to the schools that come up with the top three names as voted on by the public HERE.