THREE CHIEFS: Heading up the list of line officers for the Rayne Volunteer Fire Department for the coming year are, from left, Chief Allen “Noochie” Credeur, First Assistant Chief Michael Cormier and Second Assistant Chief Phil Hebert. (Acadian-Tribune photo by Josie Henry)
RVFD installs officers, names ‘honorary fireman’ at banquet
Father Samuel Fontana, associate pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church, was named an “Honorary Fireman” by Fire Chief Allen “Noochie” Credeur during Monday night’s annual installation banquet for the Rayne Volunteer Fire Department.
Credeur said that Fontana had expressed an interest in becoming a volunteer fireman but feared that his duties and responsibilities at the church might hinder his ability to “give 100 percent” and he “didn’t want to take someone else’s place on the roster.”
“This is the highest honor we can bestow on someone that’s not a volunteer fireman,” Credeur explained. “Father Fontana, whose family boasts a number of firefighters, is always there for us to lend a hand and for spiritual guidance when anyone in the department needs.
“It is an honor for us to have Father Fontana as an ‘Honorary Fireman’ for the Rayne Volunteer Fire Department.”
In ceremonies before the banquet meeting, Fontana blessed the department’s newest piece of firefighting equipment, a new pumper/tanker fire truck.
In a brief address before the formal swearing-in ceremonies were conducted, Credeur said the volunteer department answered a total of 224 calls during 2016 — or an average of one call every day and a half.
Of all the calls, however, the 19 water rescues performed by the department during the August “historic flood” here stood out most in the chief’s memory.
“We had never handled anything like that before,” he said. “But we got together and we did what we had to do.”
Breaking down the calls for the year in addition to the water rescues, the department responded to nine house fires, four grass fires, seven vehicle fires, two dryer fires, two carbon monoxide alarms, two mutual aid calls with other departments, 13 natural gas leaks, one oil leak, three downed power lines, six fire alarms, 13 smoke scares, 12 electrical shorts, 43 vehicle accidents / extrications and nine Air-Med calls.
There were also 77 false alarms, Credeur said.
City Judge James “Jim” Cunningham administered the oath to the officers, those including Joseph “Wa” Credeur, president and first captain; Eric Menard, vice president; Michael Cormier secretary-treasurer and second assistant chief; Allen “Noochie” Credeur, fire chief; Phil Hebert, first assistant chief; Justin Granger, second captain; Toby Credeur and Jeremy LaBauve, lieutenants; and Jake Venable, Chad Credeur and Jonathan Hebert, judges.
Welcomed as new volunteer firefighters were Dylan Broussard, Caneon Dupuis, Josh Foreman, John Guillory and Matthew Scott.