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History

Southside Fire Department was formed by a group of volunteers and began operating on August 28th, 1961. Southside was organized to provide a fire service to the residents of incorporated Chatham County. Our not-for-profit corporation supports the fire department through subscription based collections.

Our department has achieved an Insurance Services Office  (ISO) rating of class 2/2x. This high rating has been granted to only 2% of the fire departments in the nation. In addition to that honor, we were one of the first volunteer departments in Georgia to deploy female firefighters. Southside is now compromised of five divisions: Southside, Wilmington Island, Skidaway Island, Montgomery, and the Seventh District of Chatham County. We now have 140 volunteers and 300 paid personnel.

In the Fall of 2017 Southside Fire Department began the process of re-branding itself as Chatham Emergency Services (CES). Over the years CES has become even better able to serve our communities by acquiring and integrating Mercy Ambulance Service (1997), MedStar One Ambulance (2011) and Coastal Ambulance Service (2017).