Sheriff’s deputies volunteering as firefighters during burn ban

EAST FELICIANA PARISH– Unique circumstances often require unique ideas and solutions, which the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office came up with amid never-before-seen weather in the area.

This summer has been one of the warmest and driest on record, and because of that, there has been a burn ban in the state since Aug. 7.

Over the last few weeks, grass and wildfires have raged through Louisiana, and East Feliciana Parish was no different.

To help the volunteer firefighters in the parish who were being bombarded with calls, the sheriff’s office stepped up to help.

“All of our fire departments in East Feliciana Parish are pretty much volunteer,” said East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis. “The actual guys helping out with this are more like detectives or five-day-a-week guys who just so happen to be a part of volunteer fire departments.”

“They (fire department) were having so much trouble over the last two weeks,” he added. “They were trying to keep up with all the fires that we were having. I was staying in contact with the homeland security director, asking how we can support and help.”

The sheriff’s office Chief of Detectives Kevin Garig, East Feliciana Parish Jail Warden Kenny Ray Sanders and Detective Branden Causey all have firefighter certifications, according to Travis.

Travis said East Feliciana Parish jail inmates helped clean the trucks and prepare them for the next call. They also had a fire truck staged at the jail to help when needed.

“A lot of times during the day, like Monday through Friday, a lot of those volunteer guys are actually on a job,” Travis said. “So it really was a big benefit that we have guys here. Our job is public safety, and this is actually a part of it. I think it’s something that we have to do in our parish. It’s an example of everybody working together because we have a small parish. We don’t have a lot of money here. So it’s just an example of everybody stepping up. Trying to help each other the best way we can, and keeping in mind that our citizens’ safety is the most important thing.”

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