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New firefighter class certifies at academy

By Staff
SAVING LIVES Michael Guin, left, and Ross Kinard are two of 14 Lauderdale County Fire Fighters who completed their certification on Saturday at the Mississippi State Fire Academy in Pearl. Both are volunteers for the Pine Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Nov. 8, 2001
Their services are free and they save lives. They're volunteer firefighters and Lauderdale County has more than 400 of them nearly 100 more than any other county in the state.
Kinard and the other 13 firefighters were graded Saturday as they ran through practice fires and performed emergency techniques. Once the eight-hour certification test was complete, Kinard and the others were certified as Level 1 firefighters.
Volunteer firefighters in the county have two opportunities to certify each year.
Michael Guin, 25, a registered nurse at Rush Foundation Hospital's emergency room, said Lauderdale County firefighters have a statewide reputation.
The firefighters are trained locally by Mike Sims. Sims teaches the 40 hours of classes each firefighter has to complete before being certified at the academy.
Some firefighters said the Sept. 11 terrorist Attacks in New York City and Washington made them more determined to be certified.
Kinard, 28, is a broadcasting instructor at Meridian Community College. He said if he were faced with the same decision the New York firefighters were faced with, he would do the same thing.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at
In Lauderdale County:
There are 21 volunteer fire departments in Lauderdale County: Alamucha, Bailey, Causeyville, Center Ridge, Clarkdale, Collinsville, Lauderdale, Long Creek, Lost Gap, Marion, Martin, Meehan, Northeast, Pine Springs, Russell, Sam Dale, South, Suqualena, Toomsuba, Vimville and Whynot.