St. Amant firefighters honored at banquet

Charlotte Guedry
A fun time was had by the volunteers.

St. Amant Park was the setting for the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department Annual Installation of Officers banquet Saturday, Feb. 12.

Volunteers and their families were joined by city and state officials, as they were honored for their service to the community.

St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc recognized volunteers who, “make all the difference by giving their time to making sure the people of St. Amant are safe. Right here, these are the people who make it happen.”

St. Amant Park was turned into a Hawaiian island for the event, as the group organized a luau for everyone. Residents were dressed in everything from grass skirts to Hawaiian shirts to celebrate their honors.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley thanked the volunteers by focusing on the time these men and women dedicate to their community.

“Everyday, all day, these men and women put other people first. It is so special for all of those who volunteer to do that,” he said. “These fine members of the community know all about teamwork. It’s not only what the public deserves, but also what they should expect.”

The evening began with a meal prepared by Jimmy Babin. The traditional cochon de lait was turned into a Hawaiian pig roast with all the fixings.

The group and atmosphere were in full party mode, as the men and women of the St. Amant Fire Department reveled in the moment.

“This is a great day in Ascension Parish,” said Rep. Mert Smiley. “In fact, it’s a great day for Louisiana. These volunteers are amazing men and women, and even those who have not been honored here tonight are great assets to the community.”

Chairman of the Ascension Parish Council Pat Bell was pleased to be in attendance to “honor these heroes of Ascension Parish.”

Those 2010 heroes who were honored were:

Junior Firefighter of the Year: Robbie Villenurve, EMS Responder of the Year: Justin Pauler,  EMS Rookie of the Year: Dane LeBlanc and Dexter LeBlanc, EMS Chief Award: Robert Burns,  Firefighter Rookie of the Year: Josh Moran, President’s Award: Josh Wingerter, Firefighter of the Year: Scott Cohenour, Community Sevice Award: St. Amant Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary, Member of the Year: Scott Cohenour, Key Person of the Year: Christina Duhe and Amber Duren, and Training Award: Adam Gautreaux and Aaron Gautreaux.

Awards were also handed out for 2010 Firefighters of the Month. January: Gene Witek, February: Amber Duren, March: Christina Duhe, April: Jerry Gautreaux,  May: Robert Burns, June: Justin Pauler, July: Jeremy Duhe, August: Dane LeBlanc, September: Scott Cohenour, October: Trish Gulino, November: Dexter LeBlanc, and December: Adam Gautreaux.

Awards were also handed out for service to the department. Five years: Benny Johnson, Junior Helg, Regan Andre, and Jimmy Babin; 10 years: Jerry Gautreaux, Hardy McKinney, Mike Breaux, and Denise Gautreaux; 20 years: Thad Bellow, Joey Molliere, and Greg Swanson; and 25 years: Shane Pourciau.

Scott Cohenour was the big winner of the night, racking up three awards, including Firefighter of the Year.