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Those who keep us safe: Nathaniel Williams



(Photo courtesy Nathaniel Williams)

Nathaniel Williams was raised with a servant heart. That’s why firefighting feeds his hunger to go above and beyond for the community.

After some intensive conversations with a friend who was hired right before Williams, the Vicksburg native began at the Vicksburg Fire Department in 2008.

“When I started, I didn’t think I wanted to be there long,” Williams said. “It was real laid back unless something happened.”

The first couple of weeks after he was hired, fire service calls were minimal throughout the River City.

“We just cooked and cleaned at the station,” he said.

As things started to pick up, Williams felt like this is where he was called to be.

Recently, Williams was promoted to be over fire safety for the community. In this unique role, it is Williams’ job to teach the community about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire. 

“You know there are a lot of kids and a lot of adults that don’t know about fire safety,” Williams said, “so, I really enjoy teaching about fire safety to protect people.”

Williams conducts fire safety courses across the community and at local schools throughout the district. One of his favorite moments is when children recognize him in public and remember what he taught them.

“I walk into Walmart, and the kids will turn to their parents and say, ‘Mom, I know that guy.’ Then the parents look at them and say, ‘How do you know him?’” he said. “It makes my day when they say, ‘He taught me about fire safety.'”

On top of promoting fire safety throughout the community, Williams is also a fire investigator with the department and assists with fire inspections and code reviewing for businesses.

Most recently, Williams had a huge part in an arson case where a young adult stole a car then panicked and set the car on fire. Williams led the charge throughout the investigation.

“It took a few days of real hard work,” Williams said. “Anytime you can get a criminal off the street that’s a good thing.”

Williams said his job is not all about investigations that lead to arrests.

“I would rather help somebody not get to the point of arson instead of them getting put away for a long time, he said.

“I really just like helping people and teaching children,” Williams said. “They are always so eager to learn.”

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Vicksburg Daily News