STARR offers locals safety classes

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Southern Technical Aquatic Resource and Rescue located in Carriere is educating locals on water safety and first aid.

STARR’s certified team members, which include paramedics, nurses and firefighters, are offering first-aid classes, C.P.R and swift water awareness, among other classes, STARR Public Information Officer Sheila Seal said.

“There’s a lot of water-related disasters going on and STARR recognizes the need to not only provide rescue services in case of emergencies but educate people on the basics like C.P.R.,” she said.

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STARR President and Carriere Fire Department Deputy Chief Don Mieger said he and Vice President Keith Brown started the not-for-profit program back in 2011.

“The department put together a swift water rescue response team in the 90s, but throughout the years, we were limited to how we were able to perform. So the department ventured away from it,” Mieger said.

A couple of years later, Mieger and Brown decided to pursue a rescue program of their own, which later became STARR.

“Right now, we’ve got like 14 or 15 members,” he said.

While STARR provides educational classes, they are also well-versed in handling rescue missions, Seal said.

“If someone is out in the river and let’s say their boat capsized, our team goes out there and rescues that person,” Seal said. “We are well prepared for any emergency. We have rescue equipment, which include a floatation device boat, three jet skis and diving equipment, among other equipment.”

Meiger said he and his members plan to attend the Arkansas Fire Boat School in May to stay up-to-date and brush up on the latest rescue techniques.

“This is our fourth time going,” Mieger said. “And it’s great because we get to learn new skills and bring it back to our area.”

The event involves a full day of training exercises for water, fire and house rescue missions.

In the near future, Mieger said they plan to expand their services.

“We plan on becoming an American Heart Association training site soon,” he said. “It means that when people get C.P.R certified with us, we will be able to process it in our building and hand them the card after the class is done,” Mieger said.

Seal said anyone interested in taking a class can get more information on their website at www. or call (601) 590-1191.

“If we happen to not have a class available that certain residents want to take, they are welcome to call us, and we’ll set up a class for them either at our building or we’ll even go to them,” Mieger said.

Water and medical safety classes are offered at the STARR building located next to the Carriere Post Office.