CLARKE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - In First Responders we head to Clarke County and meet a man who has done it all in the line of public service for more than 25 years.
“I guess I’ve always had a calling so to speak. Just like a teacher or a preacher,” Harper says.
Shane Harper started out at just 16-years-old as a junior firefighter. At the age of 21 he began a new career in North Carolina.
“I started as a 911 dispatcher in Macon County, North Carolina. I dispatched for seven years and was also a reserve officer. Both sides of it have always been my thing. I’ve just enjoyed helping people,” Harper says.
Harper says the daily driver in his passion for helping others comes from knowing that someone is always in need.
“No matter how bad of a day your day is, somebody else has one that’s worse than you. To be a good fireman and to be a good law enforcement officer, once you reach that understanding, I think that’s what it takes,” Harper explains.
In addition to begin the fire investigator, he is also the Chief of the Stonewall Fire Department, a part-time police officer in the city of Quitman and helps with Emergency Management situations. Harper is very humble about all that he does. He says it is rewarding to be there for others in every way.
“Whenever I go there as a fire investigator, if I can find a photo album or a family Bible or something just to give back to them, the joy that you see on their face is what recognition I enjoy seeing,” Harper explains.
“I’ll always be there to help where I can. My ultimate goal is to eventually become Emergency Management Coordinator. That’s where I would like to finish out.”
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.