MS Fire Academy director Wages to retire

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, June 22, 2023

After 32 years in the Fire Service, Mississippi State Fire Academy (MSFA) Executive Director Terry Wages is retiring. Wages’ goal upon joining the MSFA was adding the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Bureau to the Academy. With this Bureau, MSFA can afford Mississippi Firefighters the opportunity to achieve EMS training and Certifications at a fraction of the cost through other educational outlets. Wages was also part of a committee that appeared before the Mississippi Legislature on behalf of the Length of Service Assistance Program (LOSAP), which was passed in 2023 allowing Volunteer Firefighter’s compensation for the time and service upon retirement.

A native of Tupelo, Wages has resided in Terry for the past seven years with his wife, Laura Wages. Wages has served in the public safety sector for 32 years, having been employed with the City of Tupelo Mississippi Fire Department the first 15 of those years followed by Pontotoc County as Fire Coordinator for four years prior to moving to Brandon as Chief. Wages has served as MSFA Executive Director for the past four years.

Wages has an extensive background in emergency management, emergency medical services, leadership, and mitigation with considerable training in technical rescue operations including but not limited to, hazardous materials, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and dive rescue operations. He has over 1000 hours of technical and fire rescue training from the MSFA, located in Pearl Mississippi. Wages is also a graduate of the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center having obtained his part-time law enforcement certification.

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In addition, Wages successfully completed his Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Science from Meridian Community College graduating with highest honors. He also holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedicine from Holmes Community College, a Bachelor of Applied Science, Emergency Management and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.

Wages was awarded Mississippi Burn Foundation Fire Chief of the Year Award in 2012 with distinguished recognition from the Governor of Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant. Wages is a member in good standing with the Mississippi Fire Chiefs Association, serving as both Vice President at Large and President 2014-2019. Wages is also a member with the International Fire Chiefs Association and the Mississippi Fire Fighters Association. Wages also serves on the Hinds Community College EMS Advisory Committee.