As Unit Commander, Mr. Mieger co-founded Southern Technical Aquatic Resource and Rescue after more than 20 years of working in the public service and teaching arenas. Mr. Mieger is currently employed in the offshore industry, off the coast of Trinidad as a Sr. Safety Department Representative. Mr. Mieger began in 1990 as a volunteer firefighter with Carriere Volunteer Fire Department where he continues to serve today at the rank of Deputy Chief and Chief of Administration. Before reaching his present rank Mieger also served in other various positions within the fire department such as a Lieutenant, Captain, Training Officer, Fire Investigator, Communication Officer,and reserve Patrol Officer for the Picayune Police Department. After seving several with the Picayune Police Department, Don transferred into the Emergency Medical Services profession. After receiving a Basic Emergency Technician training, Mr. Mieger began working with AAA Ambulance before advancing to Emergency Medical Technician - Immediate and then on to Paramedic. Years later, Mr. Mieger then served with Rapid Response EMS as a paramedic and training officer whereby instructing various medical classes. Mr. Mieger moved onto County Operations Manager with Emergystat EMS, after the EMS contract was award**, further supervising all of Pearl River County and Washington Parish, LA areas. Mr. Mieger's certifications include Registered Paramedic, Swift Water/ Flood Rescue, Emergency Boat Rescue Operations, Certified Firefighter, Special Weapons and Tactics training courses, several United States Coast Guard courses and just to name a few. Don received his Associates of Arts Degree from Pearl River Community College and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Emergency/ Disaster Management from American Military University. His goal is to continue working towards his Masters of Arts degree in Emergency/ Disaster Management and a Certification as an Emergency Manager.
As Deputy Commander, Keith Thomas co-founded STARR after more than 20 years in public service and teaching. During that time Mr. Thomas developed many unique academic courses that relied on the impact of emerging technologies in water related events; he also served as Training Officer and Deputy Chief at McNeill Fire Department, Air Ambulance and Logistics Disaster Manager for the Federal EMS, as well as he Vice President of STARR a non-profit organization. While Working at NEPTA Mr. Thomas continued teaching at two higher learning institutions as an adjunct instructor within a variety of courses such as emergency preparedness/procedures and EMS technology. Keith spent over 8 years in the Marine Corp serving in Desert Storm/ Desert Shield, served in the Mississippi Army National Guard for 5 years and deployed to Iraq Freedom with the 890th Engineer BN under the 3 Infantry Division as a Combat Medic, he worked as a paramedic for 20 years in both rural and metropolitan services, taught medical courses, water rescue, and several Emergency Management courses to public works. Keith received an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Education from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Bachelors of Arts an a Masters of Arts in Emergency / Disaster Management from American Military University. During this time he obtained a Certified Emergency Manager, became member of the Epsilon Pi Phi Emergency Management Honor society and an Emergency and Disaster Management Global Mentor. Mr. Thomas graduated in February 2022 with a Masters of Public Health having emphasis in Climate Change . His certifications include Certified Emergency Manager from the International Association of Emergency Managers, National Registered Paramedic, Affiliate Faculty for NAEMT, Training Center Faculty for AHA, Swift Water/Flood Rescue, Emergency Boat Rescue Operations, Certified Firefighter, Special Weapons and Tactics Medic, and several more. His goal is to continue pursuing education as a doctoral candidate whereby one day receiving a PhD.
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