Volunteers practice bridge rescue skills in La.

By Diane Rattray
The Times-Picayune

EAST ST. CHARLES, La. — Members of the East St. Charles Volunteer Fire Department of Destrehan and the St. Rose Volunteer Fire Department recently worked together to practice rescues off a bridge.

ADM Grain Elevator recently donated new rescue harnesses to the each department's rescue squads.

Those participating in the practice rescues were Morgan Hamilton, Edward Simpson, Steve Banegas and Roland Tassara of St. Rose and Andy Cimino, Jim Chimento and Bruce Leinweber of the East St. Charles Department.

A simulated rescue of a person, which included bringing a man up in a stretcher, was practiced.

The department is always seeking volunteers. The group has about 40, with a core group of only 15.

Chimento, an assistant chief, leads training every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the firehouse on Ormond Boulevard.

More volunteers are needed to decrease response time and increase the number of people able to respond to a call, Chimento said.

Training is continuous. The amount of training and certification volunteers receive directly affects fire insurance rates in the parish, Chimento said.

A junior volunteer program for teens ages 16-18 also is conducted.

For information, call 985.764.8112 or stop by the station on Ormond Boulevard on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2009 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company

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