Justin Granger named firefighter of the year
By: PAUL KEDINGER Managing Editor
Firefighter Justin Granger was recognized as the 2011 Firefighter of the Year during Monday night’s installation banquet of the Rayne Volunteer Fire Department. The young fireman was praised by Association President Allen “Noochie” Credeur for “giving his all”, willingness to do whatever was asked of him and never second-guessing his assigned duties.
Monday’s installation ceremonies marked a “changing of the guard” as Lee Hebert and Todd Zaunbrecher retired as active firemen with 25 years of service.
Hebert, who served as fire chief since 1998, and Zaunbrecher, who served as first captain for 13 years, each received a 25-year service pin and a lifetime membership certificate in the Louisiana State Firemen’s Association from RVFD Association President Credeur and Barry Granger, the new fire chief.
Hebert also received a lifetime service award from State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, who commended Hebert for leading by his example, his mentoring abilities, consensus building, appreciation of those who built the foundation of the city fire department and he gratitude and respect he gave the department’s volunteers everyday.
Hebert responded it was important volunteers appreciate the support of their wives and girlfriends.
State Representative Jack Montoucet, a retired Lafayette fire chief, acknowledged a firemen’s duties “take a big chunk out of a family’s life”, adding, “What you do is so important” for a community’s residents in the saving of lives, property as well as insurance savings directly earned from improved fire ratings.
Noting the “changing of the guard,” Mayor Jim Petitjean said city residents “were indebted to you who serve others.” He also offered his assistance to Chief Granger.
Following the introduction of the departments new officer, City Judge Jim Cunningham administered their oaths of office.
The department’s new firemen, Dillion Richard, Dokota Broussard and Josh Stelly, were also introduced, as well as Buck Morgan, Joseph Morgan and Jacob Venable, previously members of the Lyons Point Fire Department.
Special banquet guests were retired firemen and their spouses, Alfred Zaunbrecher, Alton Thibodeaux, Roland Thibodeaux, BeverlyComeaux, and Betty Granger. Other guests were John Leleux, retired Crowley fire chief, Crowley Fire Chief Joe Viator, Anthony Emmons and Mike Judice.