Warren County Fire Service turns volunteers into heroes

Published 4:00 am Friday, March 31, 2023

Chief Chris Kennedy of the Bovina Volunteer Fire Service said he started his firefighting career and continues to volunteer with the same department because he wanted to serve his community.

Kennedy was a full-time firefighter at the Pearl Fire Department in Rankin County before he and his wife moved to Warren County 11 years ago, at which point he applied to volunteer for the Warren County Fire Service.

Kennedy spoke about the difference between working at a full-time fire department and the volunteer fire service.

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“There’s a misnomer that volunteers are less qualified than career firefighters,” Kennedy said. “We are all professional firefighters.

“The only difference is the level of training that career firefighters are required to go through because they have the time to go through it.”

A few years ago, the Warren County Fire Service began centrally organizing separate volunteer fire departments in the county, allowing the different departments to share resources and manpower.

“So even though I am the chief of Bovina, I still respond to Fisher Ferry or Eagle Lake or wherever,” Kennedy said. “So that allows us to combine our efforts in order to form one fire unit for the county.”

This is especially important because, according to Kennedy, volunteer numbers for fire services around the country have been dwindling lately, and Warren County is no exception.

For his day job, Kennedy runs the Corkern Door Company with his wife in Jackson.

Kennedy said he was eager to encourage those that wish to help their community to consider volunteering in the Warren County Fire Service.

“You can come with as much experience or no experience. Anybody is welcome to join,” he said. “I would hope that anyone willing can volunteer.”

Kennedy added that not all volunteers will end up fighting fires.

“You don’t have to be a firefighter to volunteer with the fire department,” he said. “Sometimes we need people to sit at the station and watch our kids.”

For more information about volunteering, call 601-631-8806.