Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6’s Oak Grove Station Holds Its Open House

NPFD-6 Open House (5)

 

Kevin’s Gallery

The Natchitoches Fire District 6 station at Oak Grove was the place to be Thursday, June 14th as the district held an open house and put its new truck into service. The evening started with some firehouse cooking and continued with family fun. The children attending got to see and try on firefighting gear as well as learn about what to do in case they are ever in a building with a fire. They got to put their knowledge to the test in a special trailer that can be filled with smoke. The children practiced crawling low to the door where they were “rescued” by a waiting firefighter. The clear favorite among the youngsters was an obstacle course similar to the ones used to train firefighters. The children ran around cones and dragged hoses to the end of the course where the water flew as they got to use an actual firehose on a plywood wall with a simulated fire.

The Fire District also put its new truck into service. The $325,000.00 2017 Freightliner pumper carries 2,500 gallons of water and will be a major aid in keeping our community safe. Before the truck was put into service, it was surrounded by community members who laid hands on it as Fire District 6 Vice Chief and Chaplain, Malcolm Durr, blessed the truck. Then, in a ceremony reminiscent of the days in which fire fighting equipment was drawn by horses, the truck was pushed into the bay by firefighters. The truck is named in honor of the late Bryan Wimberly, who was the Chief of Fire District 6 as well as the Director of Utilities for the City of Natchitoches.

The Fire District is one of 10 rural districts across the parish along with the city fire department. It lies next to the city limits and consists of approximately 90 square miles. The Oak Grove station has 25-30 volunteer firefighters and 6 full-time and 5 part-time paid firefighters. It is the only station in the parish to have both volunteer and paid firefighters. The district currently boasts a Class 4 rating from the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana, one of only 2 districts in the parish to hold this rating. The Natchitoches Fire Department holds a Class 3 rating. These ratings, with 1 being the highest and 10 the lowest, are a significant factor in setting premiums for homeowner insurance policies. The ratings are the result of a lot of hard work by people who seldom get the credit they deserve.

Every day in communities throughout our parish, men and women from every walk of life stand ready to put aside their regular lives to answer a call for help. They report in, put on gear that weighs up to 80 lbs, and go into a burning building. They put out fires. They extricate people from car wrecks. They save lives and property. They constantly train, time taken from family and career, to be ready when the time comes. It is community service at its deepest level.

If you would like to join the ranks of your local volunteer fire department, contact the district where you live. If you are a resident of district 6, please contact firefighter Andy Adkins, the recruitment coordinator for District 6.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any picture they wish.