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Hello from the "Big House"

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  • Hello from the "Big House"

    Hi, I am new to the forum but not to fire fighting. I have been involved in fire fighting for longer than I care to remember. Currently, I am the Chief at a major state prison fire department that is staffed with 6 highly trained Inmate fire fighters. The primary mission is of course the state prison but we provide mutual aid to the county in which the prison resides in as well as 6 other surrounding counties, as well as assisting the state forestry service.It stays pretty busy but the rewards are great. Just wanted to meet and greet and to say that I look forward to reading the posts and adding my two cents every now and again.

    "Risk a lot to Save a Lot; Risk nothing to save nothing"

  • #2
    That's pretty cool.. I'm not familiar with Inmate Firefighters. Could you explain how that works? Initial training? What type of inmates get to participate? Who chooses them or do they "volunteer"? Is it pretty common in prisons down there? etc. Any information would be "something new" to me!


    Oh, and welcome to the forums.. look forward to your comments.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    • #3
      Inmate Firefighters

      There are three State Prisons in Mississippi and all three are staffed with Inmate Firefighters. The inmates that express an interest are interviewed by the chief and if they meet established criteria (no violent charges, no medical problems, no charges while incarcerated, no gang affilations, etc) they are hired by the chief. The recruits then receive intensive training and upon passing the written test they are transported to the State Fire Academy where they complete their testing and upon passing are awarded certification as a volunteer fire fighter (never had one to fail, yet!). These guys are recognized and excepted as fire fighters on the institution AND in the surrounding counties. One of my men obtained his instructors certification while on the department and has trained many in the local community for the surrounding VFD's.

      The is a win-win situation,the offender gets specialized training that can be used when they are released and the state and local communities get highly trained inmates to assist their VFD's.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by landnav1
        There are three State Prisons in Mississippi and all three are staffed with Inmate Firefighters. The inmates that express an interest are interviewed by the chief and if they meet established criteria (no violent charges, no medical problems, no charges while incarcerated, no gang affilations, etc) they are hired by the chief. The recruits then receive intensive training and upon passing the written test they are transported to the State Fire Academy where they complete their testing and upon passing are awarded certification as a volunteer fire fighter (never had one to fail, yet!). These guys are recognized and excepted as fire fighters on the institution AND in the surrounding counties. One of my men obtained his instructors certification while on the department and has trained many in the local community for the surrounding VFD's.

        The is a win-win situation,the offender gets specialized training that can be used when they are released and the state and local communities get highly trained inmates to assist their VFD's.

        How are they supervised? I work in a jail and I think supervision would be a real bear!!
        J.J. Bichard, Chief
        Devola Vol. Fire Co.
        Marietta, Ohio

        "A few, serving many"

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