BAILEY, Miss. (WTOK) - In First Responders, we introduce you to someone who is from this area, but spent several years serving in the Coast Guard. William Temple wants to help and makes sure to support his community any way he can.
“There’s just something about going into a fire, going to a car wreck and even medical calls. There is never a call that is always the same,” Temple says.
William Temple is a member of the Bailey volunteer fire department and has been back home serving the public.
“I went to school at Southeast and graduated in ’94. I left on July 4 and went into the Coast Guard. I spent 23 years doing that. I always knew I was going to come back and two and a half years ago I retired,” Temple says.
During his 23 years in the Coast Guard, Temple worked in every part of the United States. He settled back in to Lauderdale County not far from the Bailey Fire Department. He says there’s a true passion behind what he does, as well as the mystery of going to the calls.
“A fire is hot and everybody knows that. It’s the unknown of going into a structure. It’s the unknown of what you’re going to see in there, what you’re going to do and how you’re going to put it out. All the variables are different,” Temple says.
Temple says it can sometimes be tough witnessing some of the scenes they come across.
“You talk to your family, your wife and kids. The biggest thing you can do is talk about it and pray about it. It’s a horrible thing to see. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through and pray for the families too. I wake up every single day thanking God that I can go out and help my community and do stuff like this,” Temple says.
One of the concerns Temple shares with other volunteer firemen is the lack of volunteer firefighters in the departments. The average age of volunteer members is on the rise and Temple says it’s time for more people to get involved and to help their communities.
“It’s going to be us one day and that’s what I fear. I fear that one day I am going to need that call and if there is nobody to answer that, then who are we going to look to?” Temple explains. “God gave me the breath to go out and help my community and I enjoy doing it. That’s what I like to take care of.”
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