First Responders: Volunteer Firefighter Charles Grisham

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - In First Responders we travel to South Lauderdale Volunteer Fire Department where we will find Charles Grisham. Grisham has been dedicated to helping others in the southern part of the county for more than 20 years.

“I grew up in the fire department,” Grisham says.

Charlie Grisham has dedicated years of his life to helping others. Among other duties, he is a training officer at South Lauderdale Fire Department.

Grisham joined the department in 1992. He says his father has been a volunteer firefighter for several decades. Grisham says he grew up around the business of helping others and wanted to follow suit.

“I hated seeing what was happening to folks, but it was exciting. I always wanted to put on the fire suit and go in to play in the fire. I always wanted to shoot things with the water,” Grisham says.

Grisham says he focuses on fighting fires in ways that will most benefit those who are being affected. He says he tries his best to save things.

“I’ve seen several homes that have burned to the ground and I always think about what I could do better to salvage it,” Grisham explains.

Grisham is also an EMT. He says his medical training has come in handy a number of times. He says he knows his actions has saved lives.

“When I dropped him off at the hospital, he was living again. That was a thrill. It was an adrenaline rush. There is nothing like it. When God puts it in your hands and you do it, it’s amazing,” Grisham says.

Grisham says the job comes with major downsides. He says anything that involves children can be hard to deal with, but he says he does his best to focus and help the situation in any way that he can at the moment.

“It’ really gets to you because it’s not the child’s fault. The child did not ask to be there. Same for the houses,” Grisham says.

Grisham says he wishes more people would join volunteer fire departments. He says at the very least, the public should get basic training and learn ways to take preventative measures to prevent fires. He says he will continue in his role of helping others as long as possible.

“As long as my health holds out, I’ll probably do it another 25 to 30 years. I really enjoy it. As long as there is something I can do, I will be there,” Grisham says.

To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.