Concerns spill over in St. Martin Parish Fire District

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ST. MARTIN PARISH (KLFY) – Saint Martin Parish officials are responding the rumors of fire district volunteers resigning due to faulty equipment and poor leadership.

Callers to the News 10 newsroom reported at least two firefighters quit after they felt their complaints about fire district equipment and a lack of leadership within the district were not addressed.

After receiving complaints from a few council members his first week on the job, St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars scheduled a meeting to define administrative roles and address complaints within the fire district.

Cedars said, I met with the group and there was a lot of discussion about possible needs for additional training, there was some discussion about additional equipment that might be needed.”

Plus poor communication between the district coordinator and some individual departments.

For those reasons, sources say at least two firefighters with the Parks Volunteer Fire Department quit following the Tuesday night meeting.

Parks Mayor Kevin Kately says he was unaware of any resignations, but when it comes to fire protection for his constituents, firefighters in Parks at the time of emergency is key.

“A lot of the volunteer firefighters are from Parks so the response time will be quicker”, Kately said.

Quick response is great when equipment is operational.

Sources said one fire engine would die in the middle of a job, the other engine had a cracked water tank and leaked.

St. Martin Parish Fire District Coordinator Brian Castille says those issues have been addressed.

He gave us this statement:

“The truck has been back in service for close to three weeks now. The issues stemmed from the work lights not being wired properly and drawing too much juice. They remedied the problems and we no longer have that issue.”

Mayor Kately added any issue within the fire district can be resolved.

Parish President Cedars says his door is always open to any parish resident that has a problem.

“Anybody who knows me, anybody who has ever dealt with me knows one thing: I will address that problem head on and don’t give a rats rear end who’s feelings I might hurt”, Cedars said.

Cedars mentioned he wasn’t made aware of the issue until called this afternoon. As it relates to the fire district, he said he just wants to do what’s best for St. Martin Parish.

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