Colleagues remember Vicksburg firefighters killed in wreck

Published 4:52 pm Monday, October 30, 2023

They were seen as the future of the Vicksburg Fire Department.

Firefighters Jarod Squire, 26, and Derico Davis, 18, who died early Sunday morning in a wreck on Interstate 20, were described by members of their shift at the Central Station as ambitious young men who enjoyed their work and looked forward to furthering their careers.

“They were great guys,” said fire department Lt. Walter Beamon Jr., who worked with Squire and Davis. “They were a pleasure to be around. They were happy and excited to be at the fire department and you knew it wasn’t like it was just a job to them; they actually enjoyed coming every day, every day.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“Both of them were like sponges; they wanted to learn. It would be ‘Hey lieutenant, can you help me out with this? What’s the best way to do this? They wanted to be really knowledgeable. They liked the job and they wanted to be good at the job.”

Squire, Beamon said, came to the fire department in 2020 and had just finished paramedic school.

“As soon as he got his EMT, he went to paramedic school,” Beamon said.

Beamon said Davis, who joined the department in 2022, “was a good kid” who wanted to learn.

Fire department Capt. Reginald Galloway, the men’s shift commander, said he had known Squire since elementary school.

“He was hardworking and ambitious; he had a lot of goals,” Galloway said. “He had just passed his paramedic exam and became a paramedic and had his sights set on him becoming a lieutenant, then probably going to nursing school. He just was very ambitious and just had that drive about him. He was smart, honest and charismatic. Anything you ask him to do, he’d do.”

Galloway recalled a saying Squire had: “Say less.”

“That was his way of saying, you know, say nothing else; I’ve got you. That was always his thing. We always joked with him; he was just a joy to be around,” Galloway said. “Even at work and outside of work. He always had a smile on his face, always upbeat; just a good guy to be around.”

Davis, Galloway said, was young and very quiet.

“He just passed the EMT exam and you could see the growth in the month,” Galloway said. “Like he was so excited when he passed.”

Galloway recalled the day Davis learned he passed his EMT exam.

“He called me the morning; he got his results at 6:30 in the morning,” Galloway said. “(Davis) said, ‘Hey Cap! Hey Cap! I passed.’ You know, and you could just hear the excitement in his voice.”

The day Davis passed his exam, Galloway said, “He just had this little bop to him. He’d walk around, and you could tell he accomplished it. That’s a major feat for a lot of guys at the department, and he passed it.”

“We were all so excited for him to get it because we knew he had been putting in a lot of work trying to get it,” Beamon said. “When he got it, he was happy because he knew he belonged now. You’ve got your EMT; you’re one of us now.”

Galloway said Davis was looking forward to going to the fire academy and furthering his career as well.

“He was a joy to be around,” he said. “Derico was like, he would give the shirt off his back. He was just a good guy. Anything you asked him to do, he did it.”

“I worked with them day in and day out; almost every day when I went to work, they were there so it’s just going to be tough, you know, them not being there.”

“They were pretty much looking forward to making the fire service their career,” Beamon said.
“Squire was going to take the lieutenant’s exam in January; we had big plans for those guys; they were going to be very focal parts for the future of the fire department.”

Services for Davis will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ardis T. Williams Sr. Auditorium with a repast to follow.

Services for Squire will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ardis T. Williams Sr. Auditorium, also with a repast to follow.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John