First Responders: Firefighter Dexter Wood

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - We meet up with a firefighter that has been loving what he's doing for the past 13 years. Dexter Wood volunteers in Toomsuba and works in the Meridian Fire Deparment.

“That guy has your life in his hands just as you got his in yours,” Wood says.

Dexter Wood has been serving the public through firefighting since he was 17-years-old.

“I wanted to be a mechanic my whole life. All the way up until I applied with the city,” Wood says.

At the Toomsuba Fire Department he is a training officer. He’s been volunteering for 13 years and has been with the Meridian Fire Department for 11 years. He’s also a Captain in the Meridian Fire Department.

“The biggest attraction to me is that I was going to get to drive one of those cool fire trucks. I don’t know. I have always like helping people. When I wake up in the morning, if I can help someone, then I accomplished something by the end of the day,” Wood explains.

Wood says he prefers dealing with tools like the Jaws of Life and helping with car wrecks.

“95 percent of my extrications take place out here in the county. We stay pretty busy with it. We’re going to do one to two a month just out here alone. Just because we have everything we need out here, doesn’t mean we don’t call in support sometimes,” Wood says.

When Wood is not working the 24 hour on 48 hour off shift with the city of Meridian, he is responding to calls for Toomsuba. All of this can be very time consuming, but Wood says he has a family that backs him fully.

“I’ve got a nine-year-old little boy and I think he carries my pager around the house more than I do. My little girl is three and is also starting to get that way. My wife is real supportive of it. She helps me out 100 percent with it,” Wood explains.

“I’m 30 years old. I was one of the last few to come in under the 25 year retirement plan, so I can retire at 45-years-old. I look to fulfill that. I’m going to stay where I’m at until I turn 45,” Wood 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.