Covington-based fire district lauded for workplace safety

by: Bob Warren, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

For the third time, St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 12 has been recognized for having a safe working place. The fire district has received the “Safest 70” award from the Louisiana Workers Compensation Corp.

The award recognizes the efforts the fire district has made to keep its employee safe.

“We have over 17,000 policy holders and you were one of only four fire departments to receive this award,” LWCC Loss Prevention consultant Casey Blades wrote in a letter the district announcing the honor. “This shows your commitment to safety in a line of work that constantly puts you at risk.”

Fire Chief Darrell Guilott accepted the award from Blades at Fire District 12 headquarters in Covington last month, according to a news release.

This is the third time FD12 has been honored with the award, having also received it for 2010 and 2012.

“While we’re honored to be recognized, our safety record is about more than getting awards,” Guilott said. “Keeping our employees safe helps keep insurance costs low and save taxpayers money, and our firefighters engage in ongoing safety training and drills year-round. By keeping ourselves safe, we’re better equipped to keep the public we serve out of harm’s way.”

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FD12 2014 Graduation

TEN TO GRADUATE FROM FD12 ACADEMY

By: James Hartman

Ten firefighters from three St. Tammany Parish fire districts will graduate from the Recruit Academy at Fire District 12 on Friday evening.

On March 28 at 6 p.m., the 10 recruits will formally graduate in a ceremony at North Shore Bible Church, 19516 Sunshine Ave., near Covington.

Over the 11-week course, the men have obtained certifications in CPR, First Aid and the operation of Automated External Defibrillators; Hazardous Material Operations; Hazardous Material Awareness; and Firefighter I and Firefighter II certifications. The firefighters are employed by Fire Districts 3 (Lacombe), 6 (Lee Road) and 12, which serves an area north, east and south of the City of Covington.

FD12 instructors utilized Fire District 4’s training tower near Mandeville for some practical skills training. In addition to academic training, the recruits underwent an intensive physical fitness program.

The firefighters will immediately begin continuation of their studies with an EMT class, also hosted by FD12.

“We’re very proud to offer training opportunities in-house for our own recruits and for other Fire Districts in St. Tammany Parish,” said Dominick Bourgeois, chief of training at FD12. “We are confident all 10 of these graduates will serve our community well, honoring our commitment to protecting lives and property.”

FD12 Fire Structure Covington

FIRE DISTRICT 12 BATTLES STRUCTURE FIRE NEAR COVINGTON

By: James Hartman

St. Tammany Parish Fire Protection District No. 12 personnel responded this afternoon to a structure fire in which a mobile home and a large swath of woods were damaged.

At 1:52 p.m., a resident of 20473 Jefferson St., near Covington, called to report a trash fire out of control. Responding units arrived at 1:59 p.m. and found the skirting around the home catching fire from a burning pump shed. The shed had been ignited by an unattended trash fire.

The fire was under control at 2:08 p.m., with no injuries and no significant damage to the home. The pump shed was destroyed. Seventeen personnel responded with four engines, one rescue vehicle and five support vehicles.

It was the third structure fire in the last few months caused by an unattended trash fire.

“Our citizens need to be very careful when burning leaves and trash in their yards,” said FD12 Chief of Operations Mike Haley, who was on the scene. “No fire – whether in a kitchen, a fireplace, a grill, or a yard – should be left unattended by an adult. Fortunately, damage to this home was relatively minimal, but it could’ve been much, much worse.”