Monroe Fire resumed responding to EMS calls prior to the July 4th holiday weekend after temporarily halting the surface when the first wave of COVID-19 spread throughout the state of Louisiana.
The decision to stop EMS response was announced on March 23, and services resumed on Thursday.
In March, Chief Terry Williams said inadequate levels of personal protective equipment helped inform the decision to limit EMS response. On Thursday, Williams said MFD feels the department has ample supplies to start EMS runs again and to sustain operations for a time period.
Williams said there is nothing MFD likes more than serving the public, but it was necessary to halt EMS runs to be part of the solution and not the problem.
“We learned really quick here at the Monroe Fire Department that we are not exempt from COVID. Nobody is,” Williams said.
EMS Coordinator Megan Talton said MFD was able to purchase supplies and also wrote a grant to obtain additional gear.
Monroe News-Star - Metered Site
Firefighters are investigating the cause of an overnight fire at Aquarium Central on Johnston Street.
The Lafayette Fire Department says they responded to a commercial fire at Aquarium Central, Tropical Fish & Exotics around 11:36 pm on Tuesday, July 7.
Once on scene, firefighters say they observed smoke coming from the building. A large wooden cabinet inside the store filled with aquariums was engulfed in flames.
The fire was brought under control in ten minutes, but firefighters say the business sustained heavy fire and smoke damage.
Crews helped the owner remove animals from the store. The department says that numerous aquatic animals, particularly fish, did not survive.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
KATC-TV ABC 3 Lafayette
With COVID-19 numbers spiking in St Tammany, some residents have expressed concerns about recent large gatherings. From phase 2 reopening to high school graduations, to 4th of July celebrations there have been several big crowd events and enforcement is up.
The COVID count is going up as some worry about protective measures going down.
“We’re seeing more people getting out, less social distancing and less mask wearing,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Hill, with St. Tammany Parish Hospital.
St. Tammany began to phase 2 reopening more than a month ago, and parish wide, there were 106 new cases in St. Tammany on Monday, the highest number since the peak of April 2nd.
“As an infectious disease physician, I wish we had more cooperation from the public,” Dr. Hill said.
Some went to social media with their concerns about large gatherings on the Mandeville lakefront this weekend and fire officials responded
WVUE-TV Fox 8 New Orleans
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office arrested a Jeanerette volunteer firefighter Sunday after he admitted to investigators that he set an abandoned house on fire in order to get experience as a firefighter.
Kentrelle Beasley Jr., 18, was booked into the Iberia Parish Jail on one count of simple arson.
According to a spokesman for the Fire Marshal's Office, the Jeanerette Fire Department responded to a report of a residential fire in the 100 block of Nolan Duchane just after midnight on July 4.
The fire was actually reported by Beasley, in person, at the fire station.
Beasley, who had been a volunteer firefighter with the department for three months, later showed up to the scene in his gear to assist with fire suppression efforts.
Due to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire, SFM deputies were requested to assist with the investigation.
New Iberia Daily Iberian
Firefighters rescued two cats and a dog from a smoke-filled home Tuesday afternoon in Baton Rouge.
The fire broke out on the 1400 block of North Street around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7.
Officials say the source of the flames was a pot left out on the stove, but firefighters were able to control the flames in under fifteen minutes.
The two people living at the residence were able to get out safely, however, the three animals were later rescued from inside of the home when firefighters arrived to the scene.
The house has heavy smoke damage. In total, authorities report $75,000 worth of damage, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department.
BRPD, EMS and Entergy were also on the scene.
WBRZ-TV ABC 2 Baton Rouge