On Assignment, Elijah Mangum
First responders and their spouses registered for a free appointment to prepare wills with a paralegal and an attorney.
The event was held at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl on Saturday, and was organized by Wills for First Responders.
“The program started right after 9/11 when Cathy Hutton, the founder of the event, started it in Cincinnati, Ohio after finding out about all the first responders that died in 9/11.” said Will for First Responders President Kristy Hogan. “So many of them did not have any kind of documents whatsoever. Everyone of those people that passed away had nothing. They had to go to court and do everything from scratch.”
The program helps those like husband and wife volunteers for the Smyrna Volunteer Fire Department in Hazlehurst, John and Susan Ketzel.
“Being a volunteer firefighter, we are of course not being paid for it. Everything we do and put into it is out of our own pockets, so having someone step up to do the wills for us and our family is great.” said John Ketzel. “It’s an expense that we don’t have to come out of pocket with, but it also gives us security to know if something would happen on a scene, accident or general life that our wants and desires would be known to our loved ones.”
Wills for First Responders began holding the event annually in Mississippi in 2019.