Kelly Elliott named executive director of Mississippi State Fire Academy

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Tupelo Fire Department Chief Kelly Elliott has been named the executive director of the Mississippi State Fire Academy (MSFA).

The announcement from Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney comes after former executive director Terry Wages released plans to retire after 32 years in the fire service.

Wages held the position for the past four years, previously serving as the Fire Chief in Brandon. Prior to that, Wages held the title of fire coordinator in Pontotoc County for four years and was employed with Tupelo’s fire department for the first 15 years of his time in the public sector.

Now, Elliott is expected to take up the role of executive director at MSFA in one week.

Elliott currently serves as Tupelo’s Fire Chief and Wing Command Chief with the Mississippi Air National Guard’s 172nd Airlift Wing. He is also an instructor at the Mississippi State Fire Academy from 1998-2003 and has an extensive fire service and military background.

Barry Burnside (Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Insurance Department)

In 1991, Elliott enlisted as a firefighter in the United States Air Force, where he has since accumulated over 31 years of fire service experience in local, state, federal, and international work environments.

Barry Burnside, a current MSFA Advanced Instructor, is also being appointed MSFA Deputy Director. He will serve as second-in-command to Director Elliott starting on July 1.

Burnside is the former City of Clinton Fire Chief and has been an instructor at the MSFA for seven years.

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