Spirit of Oktibbeha: SFD training chief educates others, himself

SFD Training Chief Tony Clayborn
Staff Writer

As training chief for the Starkville Fire Department, Tony Clayborn is responsible for making sure all firefighters are current on their certifications and properly trained. He is also responsible for facilitating recruits attendance of the Mississippi Fire Academy in Jackson.

“My biggest enjoyment is interacting with the new firefighters and helping them out,” Clayborn said.

A veteran of the Mississippi Army National Guard, Clayborn has served as a firefighter for 21 years. He came to the fire service out of a desire to continue serving others after leaving the military.

Clayborn has also been putting effort into educating himself. He recently earned a bachelor’s degree in fire administration from Columbia Southern University. He said earning the degree was a goal he set 10 years ago.
“That’s why I set out to do that,” Clayborn said.

Clayborn also holds an associate’s degree from East Mississippi Community College, and has started work on a master’s in fire executive leadership from Grand Canyon University.

“It’ll help me come into the chief-level tasks that need to be done in the fire department,” Clayborn said.

He added that the degrees would help him with the career in safety he hoped to have after leaving the fire service.

In addition to his Fire Department service, Clayborn is part owner of Wholesale Auto Center in Starkville. He is also certified as a CPR instructor.