Remember safety first when heading into the holiday weekend

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Fire departments throughout South Mississippi are going above and beyond the call of duty to help protect people as we head into the holiday weekend.

The skies light up each Fourth of July as we celebrate Independence Day and like every other year, people are sure to be out in full force around pools and coastal waterways as we head into the holiday weekend. Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan says no matter what time of the year it is be sure to know the lay of the land and the waters you’re going to. “Fourth of July is one of those days we know people will be out and about on the water, swimming, fishing and so forth. Using the safety precautions everyone knows about. Number one, swim in an area that you know what the currents are, know what the bottom’s like.”

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Another good rule of thumb is go with a group and be sure to have flotation devices for everyone, even those who can swim. “We’ve recently had some recent tragedies where several people drowned at once. What happened was one person gets in trouble. Another person goes in to help them, and then somebody else goes to help them. Consequently several people drowned, and it’s a tragedy. It’s something we don’t want to happen.  Knowing CPR.”

D’Iberville firefighters are on the front lines handing out face masks as we head into the holiday weekend. This giveaway couldn’t come at a better time, considering the recent spike in COVID cases throughout the state. D’Iberville Fire Department Deputy Chief Danny Miller said, “There is a spike. I don’t know if it’s because of more testing. I know this is something that hit the entire country hard. We’re just hoping we can get it under control.”

It’s the second time around for this giveaway with up to five masks issued by MEMA for each person who pulled through Thursday. “It has been pretty steady. Actually a lot better than the last one we had. I think we had around 300 vehicles at the one we held two weeks ago.”

Taking the advice of these local first responders should help you and yours breathe a little easier this holiday.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!