SJA Fair winners become Parish President, Fire Chief for a day

Published 12:52 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

LAPLACE — Top bidders at the St. Joan of Arc Fair learned what it takes to lead St. John the Baptist Parish when they were sworn into leadership positions last week.

Fourth grader Adeline Michel became Parish President for a day after officially being sworn in and welcomed by Parish President Hotard in front of her classmates that morning.  President Hotard and staff then escorted Parish President Michel to breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. After they toured the Emergency Operations Center where the new Parish President learned about emergencies, how sirens work, and visited the 911 communications center.

The next stop was the Parish Government Complex for an inside look at  Parish departments and agencies inside the complex.

President Michel also toured the Hemlock Fire Station, the Lions Water Treatment Plant, and stopped by the Thomas F. Daley Memorial Park. Adeline enjoyed a ride in the fire truck, learning about drinking water, and visiting with Parish President Hotard and staff.

Adeline stated that her favorite part of the day was getting her own ID badge to access the hallways at the Government Complex.

“Parish President for a Day will definitely be one of my favorite days,” said Parish President Hotard. “Adeline was a joy to be around and while it was a great opportunity for her to learn more about Parish government, we learned just as much from her.”

On May 17, Chief Raymond Templet was sworn in as Fire Chief of the St. John Parish Fire Department and went straight to work inspecting different areas of the department.

His first order of business was to conduct a virtual meeting with all the Station Captains and Chief Officers to introduce himself and inform them that he would be visiting throughout the day. He also met with Chief Dufrene to review coverage areas and where each station is located.

He then visited the crew at Station 71 (Historic West Fire Station in Garyville) to assist them with conducting their daily apparatus inspection. Chief Templet learned about the different equipment carried on the Fire Truck and the importance of ensuring the equipment is always ready.

After, he visited the Crew at Station 65 (Central Avenue Fire Station in Reserve) where he toured the station and showed the crew how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Chief Templet grabbed some pizza for lunch with the District Chief and crew at Station 53 (St. Andrews Fire Station in LaPlace) before assisting in fire hose training.

His last station visit was Station 51 (Hemlock Fire Station in LaPlace) where he requested a demonstration of the search and rescue drone. He even got to spy on his school for a minute! After, he had the crew setup the ladder truck to ensure it was functioning properly and took the controls himself. He finished his Station 51 visit by taking the Brush truck for a test run to ensure the controls were working properly.

Chief Templet wrapped up his day with a visit to the 911 Communications Center. The St. John firefighters hope Chief Templet enjoyed his day and invite him to return for a visit soon.