From Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann:
St. Tammany Fire Protection District No.1 continues to lead the fire service as we work to provide the best services to our community!
Within the past few weeks, we have hosted two major events. First, we held another successful All Hazards 1001 over a 4 week period where members of the community were introduced to the programs and services offered by your fire department. The 2015 All Hazards 1001 ended on Saturday, September 19, 2015 with live fire training and recognition for the 9 members of the public who participated. Congratulations and a big thank you to Lewis Wrenne, Carolyn Baringer, Bryan Fassbender, Fred McDonald, Brian Christen, Mark Ford, Troy Brackett, Shannon Dardar, and Kevin Brown for taking the time to learn more about St. Tammany Fire Protection District No.1! The second event was a long overdue regional meeting of fire service leaders from the greater New Orleans Metropolitan area to discuss current issues and successes with to hope to improve services and increase communication between agencies.
Before I go further I want to take a moment to call attention to the men and women of St. Tammany Fire Protection District No.1 who answered the call to duty on a major incident this past month. I am so proud to lead this amazing group of professionals! While we respond to hundreds of calls each month there are some that test each and every person involved. I offer the most heartfelt thanks to our team for their amazing response to the Act X Condominium Fire in which all personnel, those on scene and those behind the scenes, performed an outstanding job. I am so proud of our department! For those who do not know, an early morning call of a major structure fire in an inhabited condominium complex with multiple people trapped and requiring rescue is every fire service professional’s worst nightmare. In the early morning hours on Sunday, September 6, 2015 our Communications Officers took multiple calls reporting flames showing and multiple people trapped. Our Communications Officers remained on the line with those trapped and reassured them that help was on the way; doing their best to keep them calm and to help them to safety all while dispatching units to the scene… Life hung in the balance and our personnel, your Firefighters, Communications Officers and a Deputy State Fire Marshall rescued all inhabitants without injury! They then continued to extinguish the fire until it was brought under control and finally snuffed out. A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Response Team assisted the FD1 Investigators, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Fire Marshall’s Office investigate this incident which resulted in the arrest of a suspected arsonist.
October is a busy month for the fire service! We annually commemorate Fire Prevention week during this time and use this opportunity to educate our community’s youth on fire safety. We have partnered with the St. Tammany Parish School Board again this year along with private and parochial schools to reach as many children as possible and share our fire prevention message with them. Your Fire Prevention Officers and Firefighters will be meeting with thousands of adults and children in schools and at public events to help them understand the dangers posed by fire and ways to protect themselves and their families.
The 2015 Fire Prevention theme is “Hear the beep where you sleep!” Did you know that roughly half of all home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11pm and 7am when most people are asleep? Smoke alarms save lives!!! Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half! Please check you smoke alarms monthly. St. Tammany Fire Protection District No.1 is proud to be a part of the Louisiana State Fire Marshall’s “Operation Save-A-Life” again this year providing smoke alarms to vulnerable citizens and at risk communities in our area please contact our Fire Prevention Bureau for more information at (985)646-4387.
Enjoy the cooler weather, stay safe and remember that St. Tammany Fire Protection District No.1 is here for you!