Town of
T H U N D E R B O L T   F I R E   D E P A R T M E N T
Proudly Serving the Communities of Thunderbolt, Isle of Armstrong and Sylvan Island Since 1949 


"Semper Paravit"

Welcome to the Official Website for the Town of Thunderbolt Fire Department. Here, it is our purpose to educate the public to the best of our abilities as to what we do as a local emergency services provider. The Town of Thunderbolt Fire Department operates as a combination career/volunteer fire department. The Firefighters of the Thunderbolt Fire Department are responsible for handling a multitude of emergencies and non-emergency situations within our primary and surrounding areas. We operate out of one firehouse with (1) Rescue-Engine, (1) Engine and (1) Mini-Pumper/Special Operations Unit. Our department responds to an average of 500 calls for service annually.

Message from Chief A. Bateman:

"Hello, I'd like to welcome you to the official website for the Town of Thunderbolt Fire Department, located just outside of the City of Savannah in Chatham County, GA. Our purpose is to provide those who live, work and travel in our response area with top of the line, professional fire and rescue protection. We operate with a combination of career and volunteer personnel who work side-by-side to ensure our area is always safe and that the best emergency services are rendered when needed. I encourage you, as the public, to take the time to learn all about our organization and understand all it is that we do here, and to even come by the firehouse to take a first hand look at YOUR public fire department. And, as always, we are looking for dedicated, hardworking individuals to join our team as volunteer firefighters, to maximize our protection to the community.

Thank you for your visit!"

Thunderbolt Fire Department

2702 Mechanics Avenue

Thunderbolt, Georgia 31404

(912) 354-3892







Thursday, March 21, 2019 Chatham County Communications dispatched TFD just after midnight to a unit lot at 2395 Downing Ave., Thunderbolt Regency Estates for a reported dwelling fire. Rescue-Engine 51 was first due on scene with a double-wide/single family mobile home with heavy fire involvement at the Alpha/Delta corner. Home owners were met outside and advised that all occupants were out and accounted for.

RE-51 crew quickly had a 1.75" hand line deployed and in service, making an aggressive push for an offensive operation on the fire.

Chief 50 arrived on scene and assumed Incident Command and reported to Dispatch of firefighters entering the dwelling for offensive operations. Special Service 51 arrived on scene and quickly had a second 1.75" hand line stretched off of RE-51 to assisted with knocking down remaining fire on the exterior of the mobile home. Units operated on scene unit approximately 0430 hrs. with extensive overhaul operations. Chatham EMS provided an ALS unit to standby while crews operated. No civilian injuries were reported and one firefighter received minor injuries and was evaluated on scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Saturday, February 16, 2019 At the monthly town council meeting, which was held on February 13, 2019, the Thunderbolt Town Council approved the contracts for (2) new vehicles to be delivered to and operated by the Thunderbolt Fire Department. The contracts included a new Class-A Pumper and a new Command Unit.

At the January council meeting, the bid for a new pumper was awarded to Seagrave Fire Apparatus, LLC out of Clintonville, WI. The new unit will be a 2019 Seagrave Capitol stainless steel cab and body with a 450 hp Cummins L9 diesel motor, featuring a (4) man cab, a 1,500 GPM Waterous side-mount pump, a 750 gallon water tank with an additional 30 gallons of foam. This unit will be constructed with a New York style low hose bed for the easy and safe deployment of all of our hose lines. This new pumper will be outfitted with a combination of Engine Company, Truck Company and Rescue Company equipment and will be designated as "Squad Company 51".

The new command vehicle will be a 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 that will be operated by the Chief of Department. This vehicle will be laid out to be utilized for both incident command functions and as a support unit.

The membership of the Town of Thunderbolt Fire Department would like to extend our greatest appreciation to the entire town council and administration staff for their continued support of the Thunderbolt Fire Department.


Friday, January 25, 2019 Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched at 2205 hrs. to the 3200 block of Bannon Drive for a dwelling fire. Rescue-Engine Company 51 was first on scene at 2208 hrs. with a 1-story, single family wood frame dwelling with fire showing from the Alpha/Delta corner. Rescue-Engine Co. 51 established Incident Command and requested a single engine response from the Savannah Fire Department. Crews advanced a single 1.75" hand line for interior fire suppression. Special Service 51 arrived on scene and advanced an addition 1.75" hand line to the front door. Interior crews were met with heavy fire conditions with fire spreading to multiple rooms. In conjunction with fire suppression operations, additional crews entered the dwelling to begin a primary search. Chief 50 arrived on scene and assumed Incident Command. Battalion Chief 1 and Engine Company 8 from Savannah arrived and were quickly put to work, assisting with interior operations. Companies were able to prevent any further continued fire spread as Search Team 1 exited the dwelling, reporting negative findings. During these operations, Atlanta Gas & Light Company and Georgia Power Company responded to the secure services to the home. As the bulk of the fire was contained and extinguished, crews began initiating overhaul operations and performing a secondary search. All searches were proven negative and all occupants were accounted for. As companies began to break down operations, Battalion Chief 1 and Engine Co. 8 from Savannah were released from the scene. TFD crews remained on scene, with no reported civilian or firefighter injuries. All units returned to available status at 0142 hrs.


Friday, January 4, 2019 At approximately 1518 hrs. Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched to the 2200 block of Shell Road for a reported building fire. Chief 50 and Engine Co. 52 made the initial response. Engine Co. 52 arrived on scene with a single story repair shop with smoke visible from the Alpha-Side. Chief 50 arrived and established Incident Command and performed a 360 survey of the structure as the the engine crew was stretching a line to begin interior operations. Interior crews found office furniture to be on fire and made extinguishment. Special Service 51 arrived on scene and assisted as crews began checking for any fire extension. No further fire extension was found and fire crews began overhaul of the fire room. Once completed, crews began breaking down equipment and returning units to available status. The fire is currently under investigation. All units cleared at 1759 hrs.


Saturday, December 8, 2018 At 1815 hrs. Thunderbolt Fire Department and Savannah Fire Department were dispatched to the area of 2237 E. Victory Drive for a report of a 3 vehicle collision with an overturn.

Tac 51 arrived first-due, confirming 3 vehicles involved with one vehicle coming to rest on its passenger side on two parked vehicles at the American Car Center used car dealership. Incident Command reported all occupants to be out of the vehicles and began assessing minor injuries.

Crews from Savannah Engine Co. 8 and Thunderbolt Engine Co. 52 handled securing all vehicles involved. Savannah Fire soon cleared the scene while Thunderbolt FD stood by with Thunderbolt PD until all vehicles could be recovered from the scene. E. Victory Drive was reopen and all units from TFD cleared the scene at 2013 hrs.


Friday, November 9, 2018 At 0508 hrs. Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched to the 2200 block of Clars Avenue for a reported dwelling fire. Rescue-Engine 51 was enroute from Headquarters as well as Chief 50. Dispatch advised units of a call from the home owners reporting that the home was on fire, with fire quickly spreading and that all occupants were out of the home.

Chief 50 arrived on scene and reported a 1-story, single family wood frame dwelling with heavy fire involvement throughout with exposure issues on the Delta side. Chatham Fire Department was quickly notified for mutual-aid.

Command 50 also reported down power lines around the dwelling as well as an active gas leak and requested both Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas to the scene.

Rescue-Engine 51 arrived on scene, securing its own water supply. Due to full fire involvement and unstable structure conditions and unsafe conditions around the dwelling, and home owners on scene confirming all occupants out and accounted for, units set up exterior defensive operations.

Special Service 51 and units from Chatham Fire Department arrived on scene and additional portable master streams and handlines were placed in service.

Command 50 placed the fire under control at an hour after initial companies arrived on scene.

No injuries were reported and the Red Cross was notified to assist the displaced residents. Chatham Fire was released by Command at 0800 hrs. and all Thunderbolt units cleared the scene at 0839 hrs.


Sunday, December 17, 2017 At 2330 hrs. Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched to 3124 River Drive at Thunderbolt Marine, Inc. for a reported building fire. Squad Company 51 made the initial response and mutual-aid was requested from the Chatham Fire Department to fill the box assignment.

Squad Co. arrived on scene with a large warehouse building with heavy fire visible. Rescue-Engine 51 arrived on scene and secured a water supply for operations. Crews began a quick, aggressive knock down of the fire while advancing for offensive operations. Lieutenant 50 (K. Fain) assumed incident command and requested all personnel to evacuate the building to reevaluate operation tactics. Crews then reentered the building to finish fire extinguishment as well as handling search and ventilation tactics, in coordination with the hose teams. The fire was quickly contained to an office area with minor extension into the rest of the warehouse. Crews remained on scene for several hours completing overhaul of the building. No injuries were reported during operations and all units cleared the scene just after 0300 hrs. Monday morning.

Additional units operating on scene: Thunderbolt Engine Co. 52, Chatham Engine 8, Ladder 8 and Engine 14.


Friday, December 8, 2017 At 1536 hrs. Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched to the 2200 block of E. Victory Drive for an accident with injuries.

Squad Company 51 responded and arrived on scene with a two vehicle MVC on the westbound side. Crews secured both vehicles, which sustained heavy damage, and began patient care on 3 patients. Chatham Emergency Services, EMS division arrived on scene with 3 ALS units and took over patient care. Fire crews assisted with packaging and loading of all patients. Thunderbolt and Savannah-Chatham Metro Police both worked on traffic control and investigation of the incident. Squad Company 51 remained on scene until both vehicles were removed by the tow company. The scene was cleared within an hour.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017 At approximately 0330 hrs., Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched to the 3100 block of Gilbert Street for a reported dwelling fire. Prior to the fire dispatch, Thunderbolt Police were dispatched to the address for an activated burglary alarm. Upon the arrival of PD units, smoke was visible from the roof line.

Squad Company 51 was first on scene and reported a 2.5 story, single family, wood-frame dwelling with smoke visible from the Alpha side. Captain 50 (A. Bateman) arrived behind the Squad and established Incident Command and completed a 360 investigation of the dwelling. At this time Rescue-Engine 51 arrived on scene, shortly followed by Engine Company 52. Incident Command requested mutual-aid from the Chatham Fire Department for the working fire box.

Squad Company 51 secured its own water supply and had an 1.75" attack line advanced to the Alpha side garage where crews began an offensive operation. Engine Company 52's crew deployed a ground ladder to the Charlie side and then made an interior entry to assist with fire attack. Interior crews found heavy fire in the living room area, with fire spread to the second division and began a quick knock down. Chatham Fire Department arrived on scene with Engine 8, Engine 14 and Rescue 4 and formed a manpower area at the front of Engine Company 52. As crews worked with fire attack, another crew handled the primary search of the dwelling, with negative findings. Ventilation efforts were conducted in coordination with the attack team. Crews were able to have the fire contained within approximately 15 minutes of operations and the bulk of the fire knocked down soon after. A secondary search was conducted, which also proved negative, confirming the home was vacant at the time of the fire. Crews operated on scene until just after 0600 with overhaul operations, opening walls and ceilings to confirm complete extinguishment. No injuries were reported during operations and the Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office was contacted for an investigation.


Thursday, November 9, 2017 The Thunderbolt Fire Department is pleased to announce the delivery of (5) brand new Scott Air-Pak's with (5) cylinders and (5) masks that were purchased through a grant from the Town of Thunderbolt. These new SCBA's are being placed in service on our Rescue-Engine, replacing 10+ year old packs. The town is looking into the purchase of additional units to replace the packs on the Engine Company, which would bring all our in-service apparatus being outfitted with the new Scott SCBA's.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017 At approximately 0534 hrs., Metro Communications dispatched the Thunderbolt Fire Department to 2395 Downing Avenue, at the Thunderbolt Regency Mobile Home Park for a reported dwelling fire with possible entrapment.

Squad Company 51 was first on scene at the provided lot number with single wide mobile home with flames and smoke visible, and requested the working fire dispatch to add the Chatham Fire Department for mutual-aid. Captain 50 (A. Bateman) was next on scene and assumed Downing Command. Rescue-Engine 51 arrived on scene and crews had an 1.75" attack line stretched and began knocking down visible from the exterior as they pushed for an offensive operation. Three occupants were inside at the time of the fire but all were able to make it out of the home without injury. Engine Company 52 arrived on scene and advanced its crew to assist with interior operations and conduct a primary search of the dwelling. Interior crews were met with heavy fire but handled a fast and aggressive knock down. Crews operated on scene until approximately 0900 hrs.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017 At approximately 1725 hrs., Thunderbolt Fire Department was requested by the Southside Fire Department for a mutual-aid box assignment at the Commons at Wilmington Island Apartment Complex for a building struck by lightning, with a working fire. Rescue-Engine 51 made the response and arrived on location with Southside Fire with a 2-story garden style apartment building with smoke visible from the attic space. Crews from RE-51 worked with Southside personnel on the second division, opening up ceilings and walls for the interior suppression crews, locating multiple areas of fire due the common attic space in the building. After an extensive overhaul operation, locating and extinguishing all areas of fire and hot spots, and assisting other on scene companies pack up equipment, Rescue-Engine 51 was released from the fire ground at 2214 hrs. and returned back to service in the first-due. No injuries were reported during the operations at this fire.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017 As a storm moved into the area, bringing a heavy rainfall, the Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched at 1354 hrs. to the area of Victory Drive and U.S. Highway 80, on the Thunderbolt Bridge for a motor vehicle collision with injuries. As Squad 51 was en route, Metro Dispatched advised of PD on scene confirming entrapment with serious injuries. Squad 51 arrived on location, on the top of the bridge with a two vehicle collision in the West bound lanes. Incident Command confirmed a total of three patients with one heavily entrapped, requesting additional ALS units to the scene. As the crew from Squad 51 began extrication, Rescue-Engine 51 arrived on location, quickly followed by Engine Company 52. Savannah-Chatham Metro Police had the bridge shut down in both directions while fire and medical crews worked the scene. Engine 52 personnel began treating and preparing the driver of a pickup truck for medical transport as the Squad 51 and Engine 51 crews worked on the two patients in the second vehicle. The patient was extricated from the vehicle in under 10 minutes and was prepared for transport. Southside EMS responded with 3 ALS units and quickly took over patient care and transported all patients to area hospitals. Georgia State Patrol also responded to the scene to assist Thunderbolt and Metro Police with scene investigation. Rescue-Engine 51 and Engine 52 cleared the scene after equipment was packed up as the Squad remained on location until both vehicles were removed from the roadway. Incident Command was terminated and all units were back in service at 1544 hrs.


Friday, May 12, 2017 Just after 2300 hrs., Thunderbolt Fire Department was dispatched to the 3200 block of College Street for a reported dwelling fire with possible entrapment. Within moments, Rescue-Engine 51 was enroute. While responding, Metro Dispatched advised of Thunderbolt PD on scene confirming the occupants were still inside the home. At this time, mutual-aid was requested from the Southside Fire Department. Rescue-Engine 51 went on location with a 1-story, single family dwelling with flames visible from an enclosed porch area. It was quickly confirmed that all occupants had made it safely out of the home, and a line was stretched to the front door to begin an offensive attack on the fire. Squad Company 51 arrived on scene and secured a water supply for the Rescue-Engine. During this time, interior crews had all visible fire knocked down and extinguished and began overhaul operations and checking for any further fire spread. Southside Fire Department arrived on location with an Engine Company and Rescue Company and stood by as the RIT unit at the front of the home. A medic unit from Southside EMS was also standing by on scene. It was determined that the fire was held to the room of origin with negative extension into other areas of the home. Crews began to breakdown and pack up equipment, releasing the crew from Southside Fire Department at that time. No injuries were reported and the cause is under investigation. Rescue-Engine 51 and Squad Company 51 cleared the scene and were available for service by 0020 hrs.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Crews were dispatched to an accident with injuries just before 1000 hrs. on Highway 80 on Isle of Armstrong, near Macceo Drive. Squad 51 responded and was quickly on location with a three vehicle motor vehicle collision with one patient heavily entrapped in one vehicle. Mutual-Aid was requested from Southside Fire Department for a Rescue Company. Proper authorities confirmed the patient still trapped inside the vehicle had received fatal injuries. Engine Company 51 and Engine Company 52 also responded to assist with the recovery operations. Highway 80 was closed down for a few hours while crews from Thunderbolt Fire Dept., Southside Fire Dept., Southside EMS, Thunderbolt Police and Georgia State Patrol worked the scene.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Just after midnight, Metro dispatched Thunderbolt Fire Department and Southside Fire Department for a reported building fire on the 300 block of Bonaventure Road in Thunderbolt. Units from Thunderbolt Fire were soon on location with an approximately 50' long storage building with active fire on the "Delta" side, spreading to construction equipment located outside the building. Command held the assignment to Thunderbolt Fire and quickly had the fire extinguished. A rapid primary search proved negative and no injuries were reported. Crews began overhaul operations and found no further extension of fire. Units cleared the scene within approximately 2 hours.


Thursday, February 25, 2016 At approximately 1449 hours, Thunderbolt Fire was dispatched to the 100 block of Redan Drive on Whitmarsh Island to assist the Southside Fire Department with two heavily involved structure fires. FF K. Morgan and FF S. Kennett working the "B" Platoon shift quickly went enroute in Squad 51. SQ-51 arrived on location and met with command for an assignment. The crew was directed to the Delta side exposure building to finish fire extinguishment and perform overhaul. Captain A. Bateman also responded to the scene and assisted outside at the command post. Firefighters worked in high winds to contain the fire.


Friday, January 1, 2016 Thunderbolt Fire Department ended the 2015 year with responding to 499 emergency calls. The last two responses were handled on December 31, 2015, New Year's Eve;

At 1357 hrs. TFRS was dispatched to the intersection of Victory Drive and Whatley Ave. for an MVC with reported injuries. Squad 51 took in the response and was quickly on scene with a two vehicle collision, one vehicle disabled in the center lane of Victory Dr. (Westbound). FF/EMT D. Brooke began patient care of the driver of the disabled vehicle, while FF S. Kennett secured the battery and applied absorbent to contain leaking fluids from the car. Southside EMS soon arrived on location and patient care was transferred over. Squad 51 remained on location with Thunderbolt PD until the tow company arrived and Squad 51 went available at 1447 hrs.

The next call came in at 2245 hrs. for a medical emergency at the American Legion Post on Rowland Ave. Squad 51 and a medic unit from Southside EMS arrived simultaneously and was met with a patient having sever chest pains. Fire and EMS crews loaded the patient for transport and Squad 51 was cleared from the final call for 2015 at 2257 hrs.


Sunday, December 6, 2015 Volunteering in the fire service is a unique experience that can be as rewarding and educational as you choose to make it. Motivation, dedication, and professionalism are qualities that successful volunteers must possess. Members of the Thunderbolt Fire Department not only possess these qualities, but are continuously seeking to further their knowledge and skills as well.

Basic Requirements:

- At least 16 years of age (Junior Firefighter)

- 18 years of age or older (Probationary Firefighter)

- No previous experience or training required

- All training and protective gear will be provided

- Criminal background check conducted by Thunderbolt Police Department

- Completion of Firefighter Level I within 1 year of joining (18 years of age or older)

- Attendance at department drills and fire calls

Once a member has attended specific levels of training and experience, they are then eligible to participate in any and all duties and functions of a firefighter. Some of the general duties that one can expect to perform as a volunteer firefighter include:

- Fire Suppression

- Rescue of victims trapped by fire or motor vehicle collisions

- Treatment of victims experiencing medical or traumatic emergencies (EMTs or First Responders)

- Driving and maintaining emergency vehicles

- Providing various public assistance, inspection, investigation and educational services

So, if you are a hard worker. Dedicated. Looking to become apart of a team. A brotherhood. A family. Looking for something exciting, friendly and educational, becoming a volunteer firefighter with the Thunderbolt Fire Department is the answer! Contact us today. You won't regret it.