2 Barrow vets promoted

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

WINDER -- Barrow County Emergency Services is rewarding its own.

The department recently promoted two firefighters/paramedics. Michael Barnes and Virgil Sizemore are filling two open positions after completing promotional testing for the lieutenant rank, officials said.

Chief Dennis Merrifield labeled the freshly minted lieutenants as "deserving."

Barnes started with the department as a firefighter and EMT in 2003, earning Barrow County's Rookie of the Year award.

He completed paramedic courses at Gwinnett Technical College in 2004. During his employment with the department, Barnes has taken several courses to prepare for the responsibilities of being a lieutenant, said department spokesman Scott Dakin, himself a lieutenant.

Barnes is also an instructor for several medical certifications, a member of the Barrow Emergency Services Honor Guard and a Tactical Medic assisting the Barrow County Sheriff's Office. Before coming to the department, he served four years in the U.S. Army as an Armor Crewman.

Sizemore, a department veteran since 2004, has worked as a paramedic since 1997. In 2008, he earned Barrow County's Paramedic of the Year accolade.

Sizemore has prepared for the job of lieutenant by completing several leadership courses.

Dakin said Sizemore is also an instructor for several medical certifications and had served in the U.S. Navy for nine years as a Corpsman/FMF Reconnaissance Corpsman.