FORSYTH COUNTY -- Since its inception, three firefighters with the Forsyth County Fire Department have died in the line of duty, and all three were honored by the county last week.
At a Forsyth County commission meeting on Thursday, Fire Chief Danny Bowman led a presentation celebrating the lives and service of local fallen firefighters Allyn Lane, Dennis C. Martin and Charles “Brant” Chesney.
Area roads have been named in honor of the men, and their family members received street signs from those roadways during the ceremony.
“Nothing brings home the inherent dangers of being a firefighter more than when it is reported to the fire chief that the department has suffered a line-of-duty death of one of its own. The fire chief must then report the tragedy to the fallen firefighter’s family,” Bowman said. “Such has been the case three times since the establishment of the Forsyth County Fire Department 43 years ago.”
At a work session in February, commissioners approved naming the road leading into Shady Grove Campground as Allyn Lane Memorial Way and the road into Coal Mountain Park as Dennis C. Martin Memorial Way.
Both served as volunteer firefighters and died in wrecks while on their way to calls at their fire station. Lane’s accident occurred in 1975, while Martin’s was in 1984.
The roads were chosen because each firefighter has family that lives near the one named in his honor.
Chesney, a full-time firefighter in Gwinnett County and volunteer firefighter in Forsyth, died in a structure fire in 1996.
The road by Forsyth County Fire Station 10 was named “Brant Chesney Way” some years ago.
This is the second recent ceremony for the renaming of county roads in honor of fallen emergency service personnel.
In April, the county held a naming ceremony in honor of Forsyth County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cantrell and Reserve Deputy Larry Mulkey, who were killed during a 1972 traffic stop.
The section of North Old Atlanta Road from Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9) to Ronald Reagan Boulevard was named “Deputy Bill Cantrell Memorial Road,” and the section of the same road from Atlanta Highway to Hutchinson Road “Larry Mulkey Memorial Road.”