bill donoho

Bill Donoho has been working for the City of Kingsport for 27 years. Donoho is a fireman, engineer, and paramedic. At a young age, Donoho was inspired to become a firefighter by his father, who helped start the first responder program in the state of Tennessee. Donoho got involved with the medical side, started taking fire training classes, and fell in love with the job.

Donoho risks his safety every day, but still has a strong love for his job. “My favorite part of the job is to be able to help people in need,” stated Donoho in a recent interview.  While the scariest part, according to him, is most obviously going into a fire, but maybe not for the obvious reason. He described going into an active fire as nerve-racking because “you never know what is going to happen, you don’t know what’s there. Most of the time it’s like running in with blinders on. You never know what you’re going to run into.” Donoho states he’s had many close calls while on the job, and has even fallen through floorboards and had debris fall on top of him. Donoho, however, just considers this all part of his job, and easily accepts these risks every day that he goes to work.

While he enjoys his work, certain parts are harder than others. Donoho describes the toughest part of his job as the physical and mental fitness required to deal with the job itself. Firemen need to maintain their physical fitness to be able to do their job, but according to Donoho, the mental fitness aspect is even harder. He stated that, for many, the job doesn’t stop when they leave the station; many firefighters take the job home with them. Being a fireman requires not just physical strength, but mental strength as well.

Bill Donoho is a firefighter, engineer, and paramedic for the City of Kingsport, and he is a true hero within his community. Donoho works hard both on and off the clock to help make Kingsport a better, safer place. He not only values his job, but believes in the difference he is making to improve his community and to help those in need.

Highlighting Heroes - Bill Donoho

fire dept logo

Sparky is Kingsport Fire Department’s robotic interactive tool for teaching fire and safety awareness. He’s been helping Public Information Officer Barry Brickey spread the word about fire safety to local schools, senior centers and community events.

Recently, Domtar donated $12,000 to the KFD to purchase a new Sparky! The new Sparky is an updated model of the previous one with one exception – he was painted to match the new ladder truck being debuted in January!Sparky Fire Dog

fire dept logo
The Kingsport Fire Department (KFD) urges all residents to know how old their smoke alarms are and to replace them every 10 years.

Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes. NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.

A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for the Kingsport Fire Department and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Barry Brickey, public education officer of the Kingsport Fire Department. “It’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”

NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.

In Tennessee, landlords are required to provide working smoke alarms for their rental apartments and homes. If you are a landlord, replace the alarms in your properties every 10 years to protect your renters and your property.

To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The KFD also says smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.
Fire Prevention Week’s theme this year is ‘Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.’ The KFD encourages residents and landlords to check their alarms and replace any over 10 years old. Fire prevention is so important here in Kingsport that we stretch it out the entire month of October!

The Kingsport Fire Department is hosting public events, station tours, and school visits in support of Fire Prevention Week/Month.

For more information on smoke alarms, events, and this year’s Fire Prevention Week/Month campaign, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

 

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fire dept logo

The Kingsport Fire Department was organized June 23, 1916 as a self-supporting volunteer organization consisting of 48 men divided among four companies. Their gear consisted of four hand-drawn hose reels, 2,000 feet of hose, one hand-drawn hook and ladder truck, (which had one 20ft and one 30ft ladder an 18ft wall ladder, and axes, poles, and lanterns), six nozzles, and one hand-drawn chemical engine with two 35-gallon chemical tanks. Fire alarms were sounded by a wildcat whistle at the Extract Plant, one of the industries located in the heart of Kingsport.

The City of Kingsport assumed financial responsibility of the department when it was incorporated in 1917. The first pumper truck, purchased in 1917, is still owned by the department and is currently displayed at Station Two on Fort henry Drive in an outdoor showroom. The department started operating under the leadership of Chief Tom Warrick. They responded to calls with one paid driver until 1930, when four paid firefighters and the second pumper truck were added to the force. The department has grown substantially, with 118 full time firefighters currently employed working out of eight fire stations.

The Kingsport Fire Department was re-accredited in 2012 by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. All suppression personnel are certified by the Tennessee Commission on Firefighting Standards to the highest level available and are licensed by the State as Paramedics or EMT. All personnel in the Fire Marshall’s Office are certified through the State Fire Marshall’s Office. The Kingsport Fire Department dedicate themselves to continue to work and train to be a premier department in the State of Tennessee.

 

fire-station

Kingsport’s First Fire Station

Highlighting Heroes - Bill Donoho

Highlighting Heroes - Bill Donoho

Kingsport Firefighter Follows In Father’s Footsteps

Bill Donoho has been working for the City of Kingsport for 27 years. Donoho is a fireman, engineer, and paramedic. At a young age, Donoho was inspired to become a firefighter by his father, who helped start the first responder program in the state of Tennessee. Donoho got involved with the medical side, started taking fire training classes, and fell in love with the job.

Donoho risks his safety every day, but still has a strong love for his job. “My favorite part of the job is to be able to help people in need,” stated Donoho in a recent interview.  While the scariest part, according to him, is most obviously going into a fire, but maybe not for the obvious reason. He described going into an active fire as nerve-racking because “you never know what is going to happen, you don’t know what’s there. Most of the time it’s like running in with blinders on. You never know what you’re going to run into.” Donoho states he’s had many close calls while on the job, and has even fallen through floorboards and had debris fall on top of him. Donoho, however, just considers this all part of his job, and easily accepts these risks every day that he goes to work.

While he enjoys his work, certain parts are harder than others. Donoho describes the toughest part of his job as the physical and mental fitness required to deal with the job itself. Firemen need to maintain their physical fitness to be able to do their job, but according to Donoho, the mental fitness aspect is even harder. He stated that, for many, the job doesn’t stop when they leave the station; many firefighters take the job home with them. Being a fireman requires not just physical strength, but mental strength as well.

Bill Donoho is a firefighter, engineer, and paramedic for the City of Kingsport, and he is a true hero within his community. Donoho works hard both on and off the clock to help make Kingsport a better, safer place. He not only values his job, but believes in the difference he is making to improve his community and to help those in need.

kingsport logo

In September, Kingsport was named one of only 121 communities in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in the US. To receive this recognition, Kingsport had to demonstrate its adaptability to an aging US population. Features such as walkable streets, better housing and transportation and the opportunity for residents to participate in community activities are just a few examples of why Kingsport is a great place for aging residents.

Being a member of the Network of Age-Friendly Communities means Kingsport’s elected leadership has made the commitment to work toward making their community a great place for people of all ages.

“I am proud that Kingsport is the first city in Tennessee to become a part of the Network of Age Friendly Communities,” said National Volunteer Director of AARP Margot Seay. “It shows our great community spirit and will support the initiatives of ONEKingsport.”

According to AARP, the Network of Age-Friendly Communities encourages states, cities, towns and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.

“Our livable community continues to create and promote a healthy environment and sustain economic growth to help people of all ages become happier residents,” said Lara Potter, the associate director of Kingsport Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Move to Kingsport has revived the idea of becoming an age-friendly community and has taken the initiative to better Kingsport, not just for the aging population, but for all residents.

In 2009, AARP conducted a Livability Community Survey in Kingsport. With help from Dr. Kathleen Beine, longtime advocate, the survey was a huge success with a 43.6 percent response rate. The overall results from the data showed the median lengthy of residency in Kingsport is 43 years and nearly half of the respondents have lived here over 35 years. Residents felt satisfied with their communities and think Kingsport is a good place for older to adults to live.

For more information on the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, please visit www.aarp.com.

laptop computer

If you’ve been to the KingsportTN.gov page recently, don’t refresh the page – the City of Kingsport has launched its new website. It contains useful and up-to-date information, provides a better resource to gain information about the city and is easier to navigate for residents.

The city is excited to launch its new website. Planning for the new site began in mid-April, with the goal of being practical and user friendly. TheNet360 gathered content from the old site and helped to shape the new site with current technology and creative design. Visitors will notice new content, new photos, better navigation and even new features.

MyKingsport

The MyKingsport function, located on the homepage, is one that will serve to answer many common questions that residents may have. For example, the city public works department receives many calls regarding garbage pick-up. When a resident types in their address in the MyKingsport search bar, predictive search will filter out addresses until the resident sees their current address. Once the current address is found, the information displayed will be when their trash, recycle and brush pickup days are, closest emergency services (police, fire, ems), what neighborhood they’re located in and which school district.

 Predictive Search

The homepage is clean and simple, and houses the smartest feature of the new website. When visitors don’t want to have to search for the information they’re after, they will simply have to type it into the predictive search bar. Backed by artificial intelligence, this search bar relies on key words provided from each department to help visitors get to their needed information even quicker. For example, if you search for ‘pay,’ the search bar gives you two options, ‘pay my water (utility) bill and ‘pay my red light citation.’ Each of the link options, for any given search term, takes the visitor to the respective page.

YourGov

YourGov is a reporting system that stems from the Cartegraph program used by the city. It will allow residents to report non-emergency issues, such as a tree down, minor water leak, water hydrant issue or a pothole. If the YourGov app is downloaded onto a smart phone, users have the ability to take a picture of the issue and submit that along with the relevant information.

Earlier this year, the City of Kingsport Public Works Department received an efficiency award from Cartegraph. Public Works uses the data gathered from app submissions to help guide and plan department projects. The YourGov reporting system will automatically input the data from residents into the Cartegraph system.

To download the YourGov app, visit kingsporttn.gov and click on the YourGov icon. In that tab, you’ll find a link to the App Store for iPhones and a link to Google Market for android phones.

PayOnline

While residents could pay their water bill online with the old website, the new site makes accessing the payment portal much easier. Located on the homepage, residents are able to click on one of three options – pay utility bill, pay red light citation, pay other receivables – and will be redirected to the correct payment portal. Over time, the hope is that residents could pay more city bills online, such as property taxes.

Livestreaming

Many residents are interested in the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) meetings, but are unable to attend or watch the meetings on TV. With the new website, the city is proud to launch livestreaming starting October 18. On the evenings of BMA meetings, viewers can click on the TV icon in the top right corner of the homepage to open livestreaming.

Photography

Visual aspects of a website are incredibly important. Not only does the site have a more visual appeal, but local photographers such as Jay Huron, Jeffrey Stoner, Matt Hale and Chris Alley, agreed to allow their images to be used within the site. We encouraged local photography to showcase how great Kingsport is. Our hope is that more local photographers will want to share their images with the city and have them displayed on the site. If you’re interested in having your photos used on the site, please contact Adrienne Batara at 423-343-9791 or email adriennebatara@kingsporttn.gov.

Responsive Website

It’s no surprise that the majority of websites are visited via the screen of a smart phone. The previous city website was not mobile friendly. The new site, however, is built to be mobile responsive. This means that no matter what size screen you view the site on, such as a smart phone, tablet, or mini iPad, the site content adjusts to fit to the screen size.

Site visitors will also find other useful information, such as current city news, open job positions and the Board of Mayor and Alderman. For individuals who are interested in starting a business in Kingsport, the ‘Businesses’ tab holds all related information from the Kingsport Profile to the different applications and requirements.

As with any new website, it is always evolving and will be continuously improved. We’ll be adding more content weekly and have exciting plans for the continued growth of the site. We envision this becoming a “city hub” for information for residents and visitors alike — the first stop for anyone interested in learning more about our great community.

kingsport senior center logo

The Kingsport Senior Center is a community resource dedicated to enriching the quality of life for area seniors. It is reserved for those aged 50 years young and up. The National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) accredited the Kingsport Senior Center in May of 2015. The Kingsport Senior Center joins only seven other centers in the State of Tennessee in national accreditation.

The main facility includes a fitness center, computer lab, pottery workshop with three kilns, basketball courts, shuffleboard, billiards room and a workshop. There are seven branch sites that senior center members can take advantage of in the Kingsport area.

NEW! Colonial Heights Baptist Church          NEW! Bloomingdale Baptist Church
108 Colonial Heights Rd, Kingsport                3220 Bloomingdale Pike, Kingsport

Forest Ridge Manor                                            Lynn View
1252 Bloomingdale Pike, Kingsport                257 Walker Street, Kingsport

V.O. Dobbins Community Center                    Kingsport Aquatic Center
301 Louis Street, Kingsport                              1820 Meadowview Parkway, Kingsport

First Broad Street United Methodist Church
100 E Church Circle, Kingsport

Membership

For those interested in joining the Senior Center, you must be at least 50 years of age. If you’re a Kingsport city resident, the cost is $25/year. For Sullivan County residents, the cost is $45.00/year. For out of county residents, the cost is $70/year. Your membership is free if you have Silver Sneakers through your insurance company. If you’d like to join the Senior Center, please stop by and register. For questions, please call 423-392-8402.

Locations & Hours

The Kingsport Renaissance Center serves as the main site for the Senior Center. It’s located at 1200 E. Center Street. The Senior Center hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Senior Center has a branch site that also houses program and activities. The Lynn View site, located at 257 Walker Street, is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Other local sites are also used for specific events and will be noted in event information.

Activities

Many programs are held at the Senior Center and other sites. Roughly 150 programs are available every week, including classes, seminars, and special events. A few of the classes members can take advantage of are basic tai-chi, strength training, volleyball, Zumba fitness, and meditation. Various programs offered to members include quilting, beginning clay, basket weaving, shuffleboard, rook and karaoke!

The Senior Center also offers trips for its members. On October 7, the Senior Center will take a trip to Fairview, North Carolina, to the Fall Festival and Farm Tour in Hickory Nut Gap Farm. On November 11, the outing will be to the Dan’l Boone Inn and shopping at the Mast General Store in Boone, North Carolina. On November 15, the Senior Center will take a trip to Sevierville, Tennessee.

If the Kingsport Senior Center sounds like the place for you or a family member, feel free to stop by and check it out. If you have questions, please call 423-392-8402.

library logo

The Kingsport Public Library will be hosting its second annual genealogy workshop series on Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 pm during October, which is Family History Month. The series, Genealogy: Life in the Past Lane, will feature 4 speakers on key topics of interest for those looking into their family’s history and genealogy. These topics are geared to all levels of experience and offer something for everyone, from beginners to advanced genealogy enthusiasts.

October 6: Who is your Granddaddy and how did he get here?

This workshop is presented by Charlotte Dade, DAR Genealogy Consultant and blog author of The Wests of Wilkes. In this workshop, attendees learn the basics of beginning genealogy research. Find out how to collect and organize family information, as well as tips and tricks for making the search fun and fulfilling.

October 13: Writing About Your Ancestors

This workshop is presented by Kari Roueche, blog author of Family History Blogger. Roueche advocates the use of archives and promotes primary research methods for local and family historians. This workshop will focus on creating a timeline to use as an outline, finding sources to fill in the gaps, and developing a factual and balanced writing style.

October 20: Using Photographs in Genealogical Research

This workshop is presented by Jessica McCroskey, the Technical Services Assistant for the Holston River Regional Library. Attendees of this workshop learn ways to identify different types of photographs, what clues to look for, and general search tips to help you get past your brick wall.

October 27: The Basics of DNA for the Family Historian, DNA Analysis and Using 3rd Party Tools

This workshop is presented by Lori Thornton, professional genealogist, who specializes in Southern States and Religious Records research. This is a two part workshop. In the first part, attendees will get an overview of the 4 types of DNA used by genealogists. The reasons for testing and discussion of cases demonstrating results are included. Information on testing companies for the various types of tests and tools provided will also be discussed. In the second part, 3rd party tools will be discussed. These often provide DNA testers with results beyond those obtained through testing companies, creating breakthroughs in research or enabling adoptees to locate birth parents. This session looks at GEDmatch, DNAGEDcom, Genome Mate Pro, browser extensions, and other useful utilities and tools. Basic definitions useful in analysis are also discussed.

Visit www.kingsportlibrary.org for workshop details.  The workshops are free and you do not have to register to attend.

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Today is National Safe Communities Day.

The City of Kingsport and the Sullivan County area is one of only 17 accredited Safe Communities in the Unites States with a shared mission of preventing injuries and saving lives.

These communities examine data about the biggest threats facing residents and implement proven programs and strategies to drive down risk. The City of Kingsport/Sullivan County, TN has focuses its attention on 1) Prescription Drug Abuse, 2) Senior Citizen Falls, and 3) Motor Vehicle Collisions as areas in significant need of improvement.

Being recognized as a Safe Community does not mean that a particular community does not experience any safety-related issues whatsoever. It simply means that when issues arise that threaten the public welfare, the community embraces these issues head-on, and utilizes community resources and partnerships to proactively address these issues for the betterment of the community.

On March 20, 2012 the City of Kingsport, Tennessee and the encompassing Sullivan County area were officially recognized as a Safe Community by Safe Communities America, being the first community in the State of Tennessee to receive this honor.  Safe Communities America is a rigorous accreditation program of the National Safety Council that supports and recognizes communities across the United States committed to decreasing injuries and deaths and improving overall safety at the local level.

The City of Kingsport would like to express sincere gratitude to the hard work and dedication of the Kingsport Area Safety Council and its numerous community partners who have helped to achieve and maintain this designation.

Find out more about Safe Communities by visiting www.safecommunitiesamerica.org.

The Kingsport Area Safety Council was formed in 1944 with a mission similar to the National Safety Council. KASC conducts monthly community safety awareness meetings, an annual safety seminar, and supports numerous safety-oriented community projects throughout the year.  For additional information about the Kingsport Area Safety Council, please visit www.kptasc.org.

 

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