Shell Norco donation allows for purchase of fire truck with touchscreen driving functions

Shell Norco General Manager Tammy Little sits in the "captain's chair" of the new fire truck.

A new fire truck that includes advanced cameras and touchscreen driving functions will patrol the streets of Norco after a generous donation from Shell Norco.

Shell Norco General Manager Tammy Little and site representatives recently presented a $500,000 donation to the Norco Area Volunteer Fire Department (NAVFD) for the purchase of the new vehicle.

“Shell has been part of the Norco community for 95 years fulfilling an ongoing commitment to the economy, the culture, and most importantly, the quality of life,” Rochelle Touchard, Senior Corporate Relations Advisor for Shell, said. “We are not just a facility that sits within a neighborhood. We take pride in being a member of the community where our employees live and work. Caring for people and being good neighbors are core values to everyone at Shell. This donation reinforces our commitment to keep our community safe.”

Along with advanced cameras and touchscreen driving functions inside the cab, the new fire truck also includes LED emergency lights, which provide better safety while driving and on emergency calls. Norco Area Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Heath added that the electronic water valves provide more reliability and are easier to operate.

“The new truck is far more advanced and designed with more safety features,” he said.

District VI Councilman Bob Fisher, who is an active member of the NAVFD and serves on its board of directors, thanked Shell for their donation.

“Through their generous  contribution we can continue to provide our fire fighters with the equipment to serve the citizens of our district with fire protection,” he said “Industry partners like Shell and others showing their commitment to the community can only continue to make St. Charles Parish the best parish to live.”

Participants in the check presentation, pictured on the left, included Shell and Norco volunteer firefighters : Blake Estevez, Jamie Latiolais, Tyler Marcel, Matthew Loosemore, Tammy Little, Robert Evans, Eddie Ferguson, Jason Anderson, Norco Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Heath, and Bob Fisher.

Touchard said the donation of funds to purchase the truck began with a conversation with Patrick Beard, who is a member of both Shell Norco’s Emergency Response Team and the Luling Volunteer Fire Department. Beard was asked about ways in which Shell could support the NAVFD and make a real difference in the community.

“Understanding that the Norco Area Volunteer Fire Department provides emergency response services for incidents involving all fires, hazardous material, technical rescue, spills, industrial complex incidents, and medical emergencies for the city of Norco, city of Montz, mutual aid response for our facility, and mutual aid for other fire and emergency services organizations in St. Charles Parish, we wanted to see how we could play a part in ensuring they had the right tools in hand to respond,” Touchard said.

When Shell Norco representatives connected with former Norco Area Volunteer Fire Chief Kenny Wenning Jr., the item that bubbled to the top was the replacement of an old response engine that had reached the end of life per National Fire Protection Association standards. Due to that, locating replacement parts for repairs was going to be a challenge.

“It was then determined that this is where we could make the biggest impact allowing them to use their budget on other tools and items to support their response efforts,” Touchard said.

Touchard added that this is the time of year when Shell Norco reviews requests for funding that will impact local schools, organizations, and non-profits.

“In the coming months we will make those announcements,” she said. “However, we just recently shared that our United Way and Hero Campaign generated over $1.3 million from employee donations and company matching funds that will support our local community and organizations in and around the state.”