First Responders: Shelton Family
SUQUALENA, Miss. (WTOK) - In the latest First Responders we go to the Suqualena Volunteer Fire Department where we meet a father and two sons that share a passion of public service.
“I was a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey for eight years before getting hired on as a career firefighter at Naval Air Station Meridian. In 2001, I decided to move out to the county and become a volunteer again to help out my community,” Kenneth Shelton explains.
Kenneth Shelton has been carrying on the tradition of public service in his family. He came to Mississippi 20 years ago from New Jersey where his family volunteered in the fire department.
“Both my grandfathers were volunteer firefighters in different towns. My father was a volunteer firefighter and my father was a volunteer firefighter. It was kind of a family thing,” Shelton says.
Shelton is not the latest generation of firemen in his family. In fact, his sons, Andrew and Sean are also members of the volunteer fire department.
“My oldest decided to be a volunteer. He came up and said, “Dad, I want to be a volunteer,” I said okay and got him in. A year later my youngest one said, “I want to be a volunteer too, dad,” Shelton says.
Andrew Shelton has been at the department for three and a half years now.
“It’s helped me learn new skills, better myself and at least let me do something for the community and give back to the community,” Andrew says.
Sean Shelton, who’s 19, has been in the department for a year.
“I love this. I love the people I meet. I meet new people every day. We are not just friends, we are family. It’s the brotherhood. I have brothers and sisters and I always have their backs,” Sean says.
Both, Andrew and Sean, have been responding to calls as long as they can remember.
“I was always like, ‘dad, dad, dad! We got to go.’ As a kid, going to see it I knew I wanted to do it at some point in time,” Andrew says.
“It’s been a family tradition. It’s kind of interesting that I grew up watching my dad run out the house. I’d go, ‘dad, dad, dad, let me come,’ he’d say ‘get in the car!’” Sean said.
Their grandfather had a big impact on their lives and now they plan on carrying the family name into a great future.
“I’m continuing something that has been in my family for many years. Being the fourth generation is meaningful for me,” Andrew says.
“After I go on a call or an accident, I feel great because I helped somebody. It’s the best feeling in the world,” Sean 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.
Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.