April 3, 2023

Smith County is looking for heroes: Do you fit the bill?

Darkhorse Press

A new recruiting banner unveiled in Smith County on Monday.

Smith County officials and public safety leaders are encouraging the public to consider career and volunteer opportunities with police, sheriff and fire-rescue departments and ambulance services.

Representatives of nearly every public safety agency in the county and the Board of Supervisors will unveil a large recruiting banner at the emergency management office at 143 Main Street in Raleigh at 10:30 a.m. on April 3.

The banner includes photos of Raleigh Fire Chief Jimmy Burns, Sheriff Joel Houston, Raleigh Police Chief Terry Miller and AMR Paramedic Stella McNeer plus logos of several public safety agencies in the county. The headline on the banner says, “Join Us to Serve Others.”

Heather Easterling, Smith County emergency management director, said she said she and her fellow public safety personnel view their work as more than a profession.

“It’s a passion, it’s a calling,” she said. “It’s that passion that makes our county a better place to live and work. If you have a desire to help others, becoming a public safety provider can be a highly rewarding career or volunteer role for you.”

“Folks in public safety jobs and volunteer roles save lives, protect us from crime, fires and disasters and contribute to the quality of life across Smith County,”Howard Hammons, president of the Board of Supervisors, said. “I see everyone in public safety as an everyday hero or heroine. We’re looking for more community-minded residents to join the team.”

Chief Burns has volunteered in fire-rescue for fifteen years.

“Volunteering has enhanced my life tremendously,” he said. “I would not trade anything for my memories of helping people get through some of the worst experiences of their lives.”

Paramedic McNeer has worked at AMR, the county’s ambulance service, for more than 30 years.

“Look into becoming an EMT. It might be one of the best moves of your life, as it has been for me,” she said. “It is immensely satisfying to do your best for someone in a crisis and, at the same time, you build family-like relationships with others in public safety.”

Easterling said anyone interested in joining the public safety workforce should call EMA office at 601-782-7911 or send an email to ema@smithcountyms.gov.

AMR hires strong job applicants and pays them to take the EMT course. To learn more, click the QR code on the banner and fill out the short form on AMR’s website.”
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