“I’ve been intrigued by this line of work for as long as I can remember. Even as a little boy I loved the sirens and lights that characterized the fire service,” said the Iuka native. “I loved the local Christmas parades too, and was always excited to see the fire truck and the forestry truck with the fire dozer and Smoky the Bear.”
He likes to tell the story of his “ambulance-chasing” father.
“When I was growing up in the Eastport and Snowdown Road areas, if a fire truck, ambulance or police car ever went past our house, my daddy was always going to follow to see if he could help in any way,” said Grissom. “Most of the time I'd jump in the vehicle and go, too.”
After graduating high school and getting married, Grissom went to work at Ripley Industries in Iuka where he became friends with Mike Murrah.
Murrah, a volunteer firefighter, soon introduced the young Grissom to a world he’d always loved.
“I joined in late 1989 and got my first taste of fighting a fire shortly after that,” he said.
In 1991, he was hired as a full-time firefighter for the Iuka Fire Department and soon became the first state certified firefighter in Tishomingo County.
He is also a certified EMT and has worked as Iuka’s zoning and floodplains administrator and as a fire investigator for the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Department.
Grissom is married to Christy Embrey and the couple has three sons, Alex, Reily and Connor.
He said he has witnessed both horrific and triumphant scenes while on duty as a firefighter over the years.
“I've seen folks at their lowest point during times of loss or other catastrophic events and had the opportunity to comfort them and share with them about how the Lord will help them through their troubles,” he said. “All and all, it’s been a wild ride so far.”