Four firefighters graduate from Fire Academy in Jackson

Firefighters Joseph Diaz, James Mask, Julio L. McKinney, and Christian Twillie graduated from the Mississippi State Fire Academy in Jackson on Thursday. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Staff Writer

The Starkville Fire Department had four firefighters graduate from the Mississippi State Fire Academy in Jackson on Thursday.

SFD Firefighters Joseph Diaz, James Mask, Julio L. McKinney and Christian Twillie completed the National Fire Protection Association 1001 Firefighter I-II course, which included classroom and hands-on instruction in the areas of fire behavior, fire suppression, rescue, incident command and other fire related topics.

SFD Chief Charles Yarbrough said he was excited to have these four individuals graduate from the academy, especially since they excelled among the graduating class.

“We had one that had the highest GPA, and one who was the most physically fit,” Yarbrough said.

He said during the academy, firefighters learn a plethora of different skills to better prepare them for what’s ahead in Starkville.

“They go over pretty much everything about being a firefighter,” Yarbrough said. “Including work ing vehicle accidents and dealing with hazardous materials.”

As the four firefighters make their way back to Starkville, Yarbrough said he is looking forward to letting them hit the ground running, and become a viable asset to this community.

“We think they’ll probably be one of the best ones we’ve had in a while, they did really good,” Yarbrough said.

The Mississippi State Fire Academy is a division of the Mississippi Insurance Department. Commissioner Mike Chaney and Academy Executive Director Reggie Bell conclude that firefighters, through their newly acquired skills and knowledge, will be an asset to the fire departments they represent in implementing fire protection and prevention for their community.