Pleasure Bend organizing fire department

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 8, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 8, 1999

PLEASURE BEND – A new firefighter company may soon add a welcome dimension of protection for several hundred residents in a remote St. Johnthe Baptist Parish location.

At least 36 local residents are motivated, primed and pumped to establish the Pleasure Bend Fire Co., under the administration of the West Side FireDepartment headquartered in Edgard. They will join the other West Sidecompanies in Edgard, Wallace and Lucy.

Organizers include Arzen Kraemer, Herman Granier and Larry Brock, working with West Side VFD Chief Helmond Lumar and St. John Parish CivilDefense Director Bertram Madere.

Madere said grant applications are out, and he’s hopeful funding will be approved to start up the company with the purchase of a building site, fire engine and other necessary equipment.

“We’re trying to make this a community affair,” Herman Granier said.

The plans are to build not only a firehouse but also an attached meeting hall, which will be available for meetings of the department and other uses, such as lunches for the elderly.

At present, homebound seniors cannot easily make it to the nearest Council on Aging center in Edgard, 30 miles away.

Ongoing funding will be derived from the same property tax revenue which now provides funds for all fire departments in the parish. In addition, thePleasure Bend Fire Co. plans a festival in October as a fund-raiser.The festival will feature the cooking skills of Pleasure Bend residents and also include pirogue races, volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, live music and children’s games.

The Pleasure Bend firefighter trainees have been working for three months with the Vacherie and Edgard departments. Madere said they should befully trained by the end of 1999.

Meanwhile, Madere added, temporary shelter for a fire truck might be erected. He noted enthusiasm for the new fire company is high andmotivated. “When there’s a meeting, it’s standing room only,” Madere said.He has also been working with St. James Parish to increase waterpressure for the Pleasure Bend area and would not be surprised to see the department up and running by the end of 2000.

West Side VFD Chief Helmond Lumar, also enthusiastic about the new fire company, commented, “I let them know it’s not easy, but if we work hard and stick together, it’ll work.”Anyone interested in volunteering for the department or otherwise assisting in its formation should phone Kraemer at 265-4929 or Granier at 265-3838.

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