Symposium brings aid resources together

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 14, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / April 14, 2000

VACHERIE – A great many individuals and resources come into play when St.

James Parish is in need of emergency assistance. Those men came togetherlast Wednesday in the first annual Mutual Aid Symposium for comradry and education and to offer their abilities.

Mutual Aid is a partnership of industries dedicated to assist each other, the parish and the volunteer fire departments in the event of emergencies. Ifone agency is dealing with a emergency situation other members give assistance or help cover their territory in the event of other accidents.

Assistant Director of Emergency Management Hooty Veron was pleased with the turnout of new and prospective members. The meeting was a chance foreveryone to meet and review what was available for emergency preparedness in the parish, said Veron.

“That’s what it was designed for, to familiarize yourself with the local resources,” he said.

Parish President Dale Hymel Jr. opened the symposium by welcoming theattendees. Jerry Craft of Williams Fire Service in Baton Rouge gave aseminar on pipeline safety while Leonard Deonarine, deputy chief in Corpus Christi, Texas, discussed the benefits of an in-center command station.

The volunteer firemen, industry representatives and parish emergency personnel attended the seminar and reviewed each other’s equipment in the west bank reception hall parking lot, said Lutcher Volunteer Fire Chief P.J.Amato.

He said the symposium was very helpful.

“You got to meet people you may have to deal with at any time in any emergency,” said Amato.

A good part of the emergency teams as well as the upper echelon of the industries were there, and Amato found that very helpful.

“You know what they are telling you is right, what resources they have, what they can do. We were all dealing with people in control,” he said.He added it was good everyone was able to meet and establish a friendship under normal conditions rather than having to size each other up under catastrophic emergency situations.

“This is basically the first time something like this has occurred. I’drecommend to any other parish,” he added.

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