MFRD Welcomes 25 Fire Trainees
Front Row (L to R): Jeremy Dunfee, Thomas Mickelson, Anthony Bowles, Ryan Pointer, Justin Bradford, Brent McBee, Jake Rusch, Gabriel Holmes, Malcolm Bonner, Adam Wynne, Zane Fischer, Evan Gambler, Christopher Christian, Theodore Martin, Matthew Campbell, Lyle Haywood, and Jordan Woodhouse. Back Row (L to R): Justin Dillard, Joseph Decker, Andrew Carter, Hunter Martin, Emileen Holladay, Christopher Cooper, Nathan Styles, and Jason Richardson.

The large group was hired with $2.8 million in Federal grant funds the department was awarded last year. The “Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER)” grant is helping the department to achieve its goal of meeting National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) minimum staffing standards.

The recruits will begin training for their Firefighter certification on April 8 and are expected to graduate from Rookie School on June 14.

“This is the largest group that the department has hired since the early 1990s,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. “This group will basically make up a full training academy class,” he said. “We are thankful for the opportunity to have them come on board to assist us with meeting the NFPA staffing standards, thus enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the services we provide to the community.”

Meet the new Trainees:

Christopher Christian has two years’ fire service experience. He’s married to Allison, with kids Ella (3) and JD (six months). His hobbies include: hunting, fishing, and drag racing. Christopher is looking forward to training and the opportunity to serve.

Malcolm Bonner has a 3-year-old son named Brock with his girlfriend Lindsay. His hobbies include: sports, working out, playing games, spending time with family, and hanging out with friends. Malcolm looks most forward to finding his true potential and surpassing limits he never thought could be reached. He is also excited about meeting a lot of new people and growing together as a family. “I’m very blessed to be here,” he said.

Anthony Bowles and wife Katie have two kids, Andrew (5) and Lily Kate (2). His hobbies include: hunting, golfing, and hanging out with his family. Anthony is looking forward to learning new skills alongside his fellow firefighters. “I feel very honored to be here, and I’m ready to work!”

Justin Bradford has three years’ experience in the fire service. He and wife Sarah have three children, Dominic (4), Mary-Bella (2), and Sophia (six months). His hobbies include: working out, completing home projects, and landscaping. He looks most forward to “having the best instructors and the comradery of fellow firefighters.” Justin is passionate about the Lord, his family, and his new career.

Matthew Campbell and wife Julie have a 16-month-old daughter named Sophie. He enjoys the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and golfing and spending time with family. Matthew looks forward to a long and successful career with “plenty of room for advancement.” He has lived in Murfreesboro since 1991 and is excited to serve the community he has grown up in.

Andrew Carter has one year of fire service experience. He and wife Caitlin have son Finn (2). His hobbies include: working on cars and trucks and tinkering with electronics. He is looking most forward to the training and experiences to come.

Christopher Cooper enjoys ice hockey, the outdoors, hunting, and farm work, and spending time with his pup, “Koda Bear.” Christopher looks most forward to serving the community and working hard in this new adventure. “I have been blessed with this amazing opportunity,” he said, “and I thank my family and friends for keeping me on track and helping me to be where I am today.”

Joseph Decker has seven years of experience in the fire service and is certified as a Basic Emergency Medical Technician. His hobbies include: fishing, four-wheeling, writing music, volunteer firefighting, and trying new foods and coffee shops. Joseph looks most forward to taking advantage of every training opportunity offered and being a part of a great crew.

Justin Dillard has three years’ experience in the fire service and is a certified Emergency Medical Responder. He enjoys playing guitar and volunteer firefighting. Justin is excited about gaining experience and starting a new life-long career.

Jeremy Dunfee and wife Leslie have two children, Cooper (7) and Emerie (4). He enjoys fitness, homebrewing, and playing rugby (he’s been playing for 16 years). Jeremy looks forward to “becoming part of something that is bigger than myself.”

Zane Fischer and wife Stephanie have two children, Dylan (2) and Camille (11 months). His hobbies include: music, sports, working out, and remote control helicopters. Zane looks most forward to “serving the community of Murfreesboro and building long-lasting relationships with everyone at MFRD.”

Evan Gambler enjoys sports, family, and music. He is looking forward to being a part of the MFRD family and learning from the “best of the best.” Evan’s father is a fire investigator for the State of Tennessee. “I am excited about the possibility of getting to work with him in the future,” he said.

Lyle Haywood enjoys running, gaming, fitness, and movies. He is looking forward to the stability of this new career, becoming a part of the MFRD family, and serving the city in this role.

Emileen (Emmy) Holladay is a certified Basic Emergency Medical Technician. She enjoys kayaking, riding horses, and other outdoor activities. She looks most forward to getting her career started and helping her community in any way she can. Emmy’s father is an Engineer with MFRD. Lionel has been with the department since 1986.

Gabriel Holmes is married to Jennifer. He enjoys fishing, hunting, working out, and off-roading. Gabriel looks most forward to the comradery, helping people, and a long career with MFRD.

Hunter Martin and wife Brandi have two children, Chase (2) and Grayson (10 months). He enjoys being a dad and spending time with his family. Hunter looks forward to helping the community and growing his family within the fire service.

Theodore Martin is a certified Advanced Emergency Medical Technician. He and wife Donna have a two-year-old daughter named Lila. He enjoys music and is a wedding/party DJ on the side as a hobby. Theodore grew up in the San Francisco Bay area before attending school at Middle Tennessee State University and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Recording Industry. “I’ve wanted to be a firefighter for 10 years,” he said. “I’m honored and looking forward to serving the community and furthering my career.”

Brent McBee and wife Mollie are expecting their first child in April. He enjoys reading, running, hunting, repelling, and traveling. He looks most forward to meeting the members of MFRD and serving the citizens of Murfreesboro. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity!”

Thomas Mickelson and Audra Scales have a one-month-old named Kylie. He enjoys golf and basketball. Thomas is looking forward to the experience and knowledge that will help him to respond to his community and make a difference and acquiring “a set of skills to last a lifetime.” He is passionate about advancing in this fire service career, but also helping his peers to do so along the way.

Ryan Pointer enjoys being outdoors, golfing and playing with his black lab “Oakley.” He looks most forward to fulfilling his lifelong dream. Ryan’s parents were both firefighters. His father retired from the Knoxville Fire Department with 39 years and his mother worked for Knoxville Fire Department and the K-25 fire department before becoming a fire protection safety engineer at Y-12.

Jason Richardson and wife Shelley have three children Tyler (8), Ellie (5), and Savannah (3). He enjoys trout fishing. Jason is looking forward to learning all of the job requirements and becoming a part of the MFRD family.

Jake Rusch has four years’ experience in the fire service and is a certified Emergency Medical Responder. He is an avid fisherman and likes to build things. Jake looks forward to being able to service his community and better himself as a firefighter. He moved to Tennessee in 2015 from North Chicago and has been a volunteer firefighter with Williamson County for four years.

Nathan Styles is married to Emily. He enjoys Crossfit, mixed martial arts, and spending time with Emily and their dog, Oliver. He looks forward to being a part of the MFRD family. “Everyone who learned I received this opportunity congratulated me and told me what an incredible and well-respected department MFRD is,” said Nathan. “I’m truly blessed to be a part of this department!”

Jordan Woodhouse has been in the fire service for three years. He and wife Lolita have three children, Destiny (8), David (5), and Johnny (4). He enjoys the outdoors and agriculture. Jordan looks most forward to beginning his career, a sense of belonging, and being a part of something larger than himself. He also looks forward to learning from others and “climbing the limitless ladder.”

Adam Wynne has been in the fire service for nine years and is a certified Basic Emergency Medical Technician. He and wife Amber have three children, Asher (6), Arbor (2), and Axton (three weeks old). He enjoys the outdoors, fishing, hunting, sports, and woodworking. Adam is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that the MFRD family will bring before him and believes it will help him to better himself and his career as a firefighter. On the side, Adam shoots fireworks for events for the NBA, NFL, SEC, NCAA, major concerts, special effects, and the Fourth of July Fireworks Show in Nashville.

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