OUR OPINION: Firefighter deaths felt deep in the heart of Vicksburg

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Vicksburg community is in deep mourning as we enter the 11th month of the year.

Two firefighters lost their lives in a late-night car crash. The heartbreak is palpable throughout the community, and The Vicksburg Post stands in solidarity with the Vicksburg Fire Department and Ambulance Service as crew members mourn a tremendous loss.

By all accounts, Derico Davis and Jarod Squires were fine young men at the beginning of their careers, and they were proud to serve in their roles at the fire department. The pair entered the world of first responders at different times, and yet both displayed remarkable commitment to improving the lives of others and their own lives through continuing education courses and life-saving certifications.

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Davis and Squires were brothers in uniform. They were good friends. And they were sons who are mourned by families and loved ones.

As the community mourns the loss of two young lives, let us also wrap our arms around the firefighters’ parents and family members as they wake to a new day without someone they love walking on earth.

The young men should also be commended for their bravery. Firefighting is a dangerous field, and anyone who suits up understands the risk they are taking for both their lives and the lives of those around them.

Davis and Squires, like the generations of first responders before them, knew full well the dangers of their job — and they were willing to keep Vicksburg safe anyway. It’s a shame that our city is without two such individuals.

Speaking of the bravery put forth by our local first responders, we as a community must also wrap our arms around Davis and Squires’ teammates at the Vicksburg Fire Department. It’s no secret that their coworkers were some of the first on the scene in response to the wreck that claimed Davis and Squires’ lives.

VFD Chief Derrick Stamps was proactive in ensuring counseling services are available for anyone in the department who needs them, but the scars left behind after losing one of their own will no doubt linger long after funeral services end and names are etched in stone.

Thank a firefighter or paramedic this week. Reach out and let them know how valued they are as people and as community servants.

At the very least, add them to your prayer lists.

Both Davis and Squires will be laid to rest following services at the Ardis T. Williams Sr. Auditorium this weekend. We join the community in prayer for all whose lives they touched.