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Heuck’s chief named state EMS director

The chief of Heuck’s Retreat Volunteer Fire Department can nowadd a state title to his list of duties and accomplishments.

James “Jim” H. Craig III was named as the new director ofEmergency Medical Services for the Mississippi State Department ofHealth last week.

He is very excited about filling the void left by the retirementof Wade N. Spruill Jr. in October after 35 years of stateservice.

“I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Craig, mentioninghow he became only the second EMS director in the state.

Under his new title, Craig will oversee the EMS division as itorganizes, regulates and maintains a statewide program to improveemergency medical care.

One program Craig is looking forward to working on is the newtrauma system in the state.

“It’s saving lives by getting people to the right place in theright amount of time,” said Craig, adding that it enables emergencyroom doctors to wait for patients’ arrival, rather than patientswait for doctors when they arrive with an emergency.

EMS also tests and certifies Emergency Medical Technicians(EMTs) on the basic, intermediate and paramedic levels.

Craig has many years experience in the field as anationally-registered EMT and a volunteer firefighter.

“I’ve just about done this kind of work all my life,” saidCraig.

He is chairman of the Mississippi Fire Personnel MinimumStandards and Certification Board. He is a representative to theNational Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and pastpresident of the Lincoln County Firefighters Association.

Craig is also a member of the Emergency TelecommunicationsStandards and Training Board, the National Association of State EMSDirectors and the Mississippi Firefighters and Fire ChiefsAssociation.

He is a graduate of University of Southwest Louisiana and holdsan associate of arts degree in forensics science from LouisianaState University.

Craig formerly worked with Louisiana Department of Health andHospitals before moving to Lincoln County 10 years ago.

His wife is Celine Craig, the Human Resources Director at King’sDaughters Medical Center, and they have four children.