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Smoke Daddy

The Georgia Smoke Diver program coined the title Smoke Daddy in the program's infancy.  The term refers to the leader of the Smoke Divers.  In today’s public safety terms it can be interpreted to mean the incident commander or lead instructor of the class but it is more than just that.  The Smoke Daddy is a leader among equals or Primus inter pares whose job is to set the tone and direction for the students as well as the instructors.  The Smoke Daddy is chosen from among the members to serve in this capacity.

Since the creation of the Georgia Smoke Diver course there have been five members selected to serve as Smoke Daddy:


  1. Cortez LawrenceCortez Lawrence - Smoke Diver #1
    1978 - 1981
    Formerly with the Department of Homeland Security
    Died March 1, 2017
  1. Rob FowlerRob Fowler - Smoke Diver #10
    1981 - 1983
    Retired as Fire Chief from the LaGrange Fire Department
  1. John McLaughlinJohn McLaughlin - Smoke Diver #9
    1983 - 1984
    Retired as Chief of Operations from the Cobb County Fire Department
    Died November 23, 2017
  1. Scott MillsapScott Millsap - Smoke Diver #25
    1985 - 1994
    Retired as Training Captain from the City of Dalton Fire Department
    Died September 23, 2002
  1. David RhodesDavid Rhodes - Smoke Diver #339
    1995 - Present
    32-year Fire Service Veteran


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