Four fallen firefighters honored at Miss. academy

By The Associated Press

PEARL — The Mississippi Fire Academy is honoring four firefighters killed on the job in the past year.

The names of the four men were added to the academy’s wall of remembrance during a ceremony Tuesday, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

They are Charles Foster, 59, of Barton Volunteer Fire Department; Larry Gressett, 33, of Toomsuba VFD; Jacob Anthony Carter, 18, of Becker/Athens VFD and Joshua Wilkes, 26, of Unity VFD.

There are now 87 names on the wall at the academy in Pearl.

“These men gave their lives for something they believe in, and they lived their lives doing something they were called to do. So be it that all of us could do the same,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who’s also the state fire marshal.

Tommy McDermott, president of the Mississippi Volunteer Firefighters Association, spoke of the legacy left by Foster, Gressett, Carter and Wilkes.

“Those folks we memorialize today, and those folks on that wall made my life easier,” he said.

Turning to recruits at the Fire Academy, McDermott said: “I hope that the people on the job today, and you young men over there, that 30 years from now people will look back and say their lives are easier because of you.”