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Northshore communities, firefighters band together in time of need

“We’ve had hundreds of phone calls into my office about how the community can help the firemen," Franklinton Fire Chief Brandon LaSalle said.


A few days ago, Franklinton Fire Chief, Brandon LaSalle, put out a call for help. 

“We’ve had hundreds of phone calls into my office about how the community can help the firemen," LaSalle said. 

So, he decided to make a post on the fire department's Facebook page asking for water and Gatorade donations. 

“As of today, we have 43 cases of sports drinks, 225 cases of water and that’s just in my building," LaSalle said, “450 loose Gatorades.” 

Community members, local stores and fellow firefighters pitched in. 

St. Tammany Parish firefighters helped with delivers and unloading, including Joey Sanders with St. Tammany Fire District #2.

“We were more than happy, didn’t even think twice, just knew what we needed to do and came together and did what needed to be done," Sanders said.

Firefighters across the state have been working tirelessly, in intense heat, for weeks now. 

“Everybody’s getting worn out on these calls really quickly here lately with the heat," Sanders said. 

Most fire departments in Washington and St. Tammany Parishes are comprised of volunteers and very few paid staff. 

The departments have been sending firefighters to help with the wildfires in other areas, but they're also filling gaps for each other. 

Folsom Fire Chief, Jamie Truett, said they've assisted Washington Parish with recent brush fires. 

“It’s a matter of we all work our hardest to help out wherever we can," Truett said. 

Whether it's manpower, or making sure they stay hydrated, they're there for each other.

“I really don’t have the words to express the gratitude for what they’ve done," LaSalle said. 

LaSalle said they are going to pay it forward. They're coordinating getting some of the donations to crews across the state fighting fires. 

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