Guns N’ Hoses fun Nov. 12 benefits firefighters’ families

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

RESERVE — When life-threatening events happen in our communities, police and fire departments work together as a team to save lives and property.

On Nov. 12, however, it will be every man for himself.

St. John the Baptist Parish firefighters and law enforcement have gotten together to host a flag football tournament to help raise funds for the families of local firefighters injured while working a wreck on Interstate 10.

St. John District Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin was killed and firefighters Mack Beal and Nick Saale were injured when a bus careened into a fire truck following a wreck on the elevated highway Aug. 28. All three men were thrown over the side during the crash.

Chauvin left behind a wife and two children. Beal and Saale suffered injuries which have prevented them from working.

St. John Parish has since rallied around the two injured men and Chauvin’s family with a variety of fundraisers.

This one is different.

Billed as “Guns N’ Hoses,” the tournament will pit flag football teams from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Hammond Police Department, Slidell Fire Department and St. John’s Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department.

The fun begins at 8 a.m. at Joe Keller Stadium in Reserve. There also will be concessions, a 50/50 drawing, door prizes and a silent auction. A wide array of souvenir items will be sold as well.

Admission is free.

At 1 p.m., the St. John Sheriff’s Office will take on St. John Fire in an exhibition game for pride, bragging rights and a trophy that has been held by the firefighters since the last game was played sometime before Hurricane Isaac. The series is currently tied 1-1.

“They’re hoarding the trophy somewhere,” said event organizer Chip Wale, a Sheriff’s Office lieutenant. “We’re going to get it back.”

Replied St. John Fire Chief Cain Dufrene: “They can say that if they want to. We’re not hiding it. We do have it.”

There has been quite a bit of such trash talking taking place on a Facebook message board filled with memes of cops insulting firemen and firemen insulting cops.

“It’s all in good fun,” Dufrene said. “It’s good to see everybody kick back and have a few laughs.”

It’s all for a good cause as well.

Wale said he has been amazed at the outpouring of support from local businesses who have put up sponsorship fees — more than 30 to date.

“It’s an easy sell, really,” Wale said. “What’s better than supporting local police and fire departments? I’m really excited so many local businesses, and even businesses from out of the area, are showing their support.”