In an effort to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all city facilities will be closed to public walk-ins until further notice. City services will be available online, by phone, and through limited in-person appointments. Please review the full news release here.


Winder City Council passed an Emergency Declaration and Ordinance which is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until 11:59 PM on April 6, 2020. Please read the full document here.


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C.M. Ferguson and MenIn 1908, the City of Winder was experiencing tremendous growth in the manufacturing business. At that time, there were 34 automobiles in Winder making it the auto center of Northeast Georgia.

Because of its growth, the city's volunteer fire department was organized with C.M. Ferguson as the first fire chief. There were four companies with eight firefighters from each ward. Firefighting equipment was listed as four hose wagons and one hook and ladder outfit. There were a total of 36 firefighters. A large bell mounted on a high scaffold near the center of town beside the Gainesville Midland tracks was rung to call volunteers to duty. In 1923, the first motorized fire truck was purchased by the city.

In 1973, the department consisted of 22 volunteer firefighters, three full-time employees, one fire station and six pieces of motorized equipment.

Today, the department has 34 full-time personnel (30 firefighters and 4 staff). Equipment consist of three (3) pumpers, one (1) ladder truck, two (2) rescue trucks, seven(7) support vehicles, one (1) rescue boat, one (1) Emergency Response Trailer and one (1) air trailer. This equipment is housed in the city's two (2) fire stations.

The department has a Class 2 ISO Rating.

Fire Chiefs 1908 - Present

C.M. Ferguson 1908 - 1936
L.J. Lanthier* 1936 - 1947
L.W. Lanthier* 1947 - 1976
Monroe Wise 1976 - 1980
John Ethridge 1980 - 1987
Timothy Szymanski 1987 - 1992
Raymond J. Mattison 1992 - 2011
Matthew Whiting 2011 - Present
* Lewis and Ludger Lanthier, father and son, served a total of 39 years in position of fire chief.

Major Fires

  • 1938 Winder City School
  • 1972 Winder Barrow High School
  • 1977 Maxwell's Store
  • 1985 Rick's Home Furnishings
  • 1996 John Rich Pentecost American Legion Post 53
  • 2012 Candler Street Church (Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit)