She is not ready to actually turn water-filled hoses on burning homes or run equipment to loosen a crushed vehicle and extricate an accident victim. But young Arianna Moore, a volunteer with the Lewisburg Volunteer Fire Department is working toward a goal that is not too far away.
Moore, the daughter of Michael Moore, who is a volunteer firefighter on the Lewisburg crew, was recently recognized as the department’s first Junior Firefighter of the Year. The award was given to Lewisburg’s youngest firefighter for her contributions to the department and her community.
Arianna has been with the Lewisburg department for three years. Since she is not certified through the Mississippi Fire Academy, she can accompany, but not actively take part in fighting fires or attempts at saving lives.
That doesn’t mean she is standing idly by on fire calls, however. Moore has received hands-on training on various techniques and equipment operations she has developed as a first responder.
Arianna also chips in to assist in cleanup work on the fire engines and around the fire station, said Fire Chief David Linville, who adds Moore is always working in the company of her dad, as required anytime she answers a fire call.
“It is something she says she loves doing,” Linville said. “Whatever she can do, she’s one of those that, if she can get there, she’ll help you.”
Moore has seen a lot over the years going out with her father, who encourages his children to experience the real-life incidents that he has over the years, first as a firefighter on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and now since they’ve arrived in DeSoto County.
The range of fire calls Arianna has been a part of includes grass fires, vehicle fires, motor vehicle accidents and EMS assistance.
Her willingness to serve was highlighted by her help assisting in a motor vehicle accident in December 2017 that injured a Rhodes College student from Olive Branch, who was struck by a semitrailer truck at College Road and Highway 305.
Arianna’s colleagues quickly recognized how she stepped in and spoke with the accident victim as crews worked to extricate her from the wreckage.
Linville said she impressed his entire department with what Arianna did that night and that she wants to serve without getting credit for what she does.
“She doesn’t expect a thank you,” Linville said. “Firefighters don’t expect a thank you.. If you get somebody out off a car or a burning building, you really don’t expect them to say anything to you, so you get kind of into that habit. Most people are in the worst time in their lives at that time.”
Arianna is also active at Olive Branch High School, where she attends school. She has worked with the Conquistador football team and is involved in the Jr. ROTC program there.
Moore still plans to get certified as a firefighter, however, which is her drive to reach age 18, when that can legally happen, Linville said.
“She went through some basic volunteer training stuff, but she can’t get her fire certification through the Fire Academy until she turns age 18,” he said.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.