Hahnville firefighters celebrate 40 years of saving lives
|Photo by Shonna Riggs|
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK. Fire Chief Reggie Gaubert and president of the Hahnville Fire Department, Dennis Robbins pictured above have over 60 years of combined experience putting out fires. Way to go guys!
Fire Chief Reggie Gaubert along with his crew of volunteer firefighters, enjoyed a relaxing day with their families remembering what it was like to put out fires in 1967 and how much further along things have progressed since that time.
“Things are very different today then they were 40 years ago,” Gaubert told the Herald-Guide.
“Our equipment is better, and our trucks are high tech now and in better shape than they were all those years ago,” he continued.
“Even our water system is better.”
Dennis Robbins, Hahnville High School teacher and volunteer firefighter said he remembers a 1986 fire, “the worst” fire he said he ever had to put out.
“There was an old house on the corner of Smith lane and LA Highway 18,” he said.
“It took us five hours to put the fire out.”
“Some of us got blown off the porch, by the blaze,” he continued.
“But thankfully, we put it out and nobody was home and none of our firefighters got hurt.”
Robbins recently got parish approval to recruit young firemen through a course offered to students at Hahnville High School.
“The students will be taught everything about fire safety and we’re hoping to get the same kind of course at Destrehan High School,” he said.
Gaubert recalls the only fire in Hahnville that resulted in a fatality.
“This fire hit us pretty hard,” Gaubert said.
“In February of 1996, we were called to put out a fire,” he said.
“It was at a house belonging to the grandmother of one of our volunteer firefighters,” he continued.
“She died at the scene.”
Gaubert said he’s pleased with the overall changes that modern technology has brought to the fire station.
“It costs $180,000 annually to maintain the firestation,” he said.
“Forty-years ago we didn’t have airpacks, slicker suits, and all of the specialty equipment we have now, like the tornado trailer and the fire prevention trailer,” he continued.
“We’re fortunate to have a crew of concerned volunteers too,” he said.
Gaubert said he welcomes community members who want to help put out fires and training is available.
“Our volunteers attend a 10-week training course on firefighting in Baton Rouge, that ensures that they will be ready and prepared in case of an emergency, to save lives.”
For more information on how you can become a volunteer firefighter contact Reggie Gaubert at 985-783-5050.
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