By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore Fire Department officially welcomed two new firefighters last week when cadets DeMarcus McMillian and Kyle Hostetler graduated from Alabama Fire College in Mobile.
McMillian, 28, was reared in Mobile and Atmore. The son of Melinda Howard and Alex McMillian of Mobile, he and his wife Evette have two boys and four girls.
He said AFD Lt. Eugene Edwards helped him make up his mind to become a firefighter, a decision he had wrestled with for a while.
“My desire to be fireman came in the middle of my life,” he said. “I had thought about it before but never was really sure I wanted to get into it. I’ve been knowing Eugene since I was kid. He saw me in the gym one day, we talked about it, and I finally looked into it.”
Hostetler, 19, is the son of Bill and Marcia Hostetler of Atmore and a graduate of Atmore Christian School. He is the grandson of Jim and Myrtle Staff of Atmore, and his other grandparents live in Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
After graduation from ACS, he attended Coastal Alabama Community College’s Brewton campus. Even before high school graduation he had begun to look at firefighting as a possible career option.
“After high school, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” he said. “I went to college, then decided about three years ago that I wanted to be a firefighter.”
He has found that the job seems to fit him well.
“I like it,” he said. “It’s the best job in the world to me.”
Fire Chief Ron Peebles said the two rookie firemen will make the department even stronger.
“We’re glad to have them; we really needed them,” Peebles said. “That gives us five men per shift, so we can better handle any calls that come in. They will be a real big asset to the department.”