Two newcomers to the St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department were honored recently for saving the life of a St. Amant resident, Fire Chief James LeBlanc said.
Shane Stuntz, a sergeant in the department for less than a year, and firefighter Jake Blanchard, a member of the department for less than six months, responded to call at 4 a.m. on March 29, where they found an unresponsive resident.
“The area they responded to is the longest distance for any St. Amant firefighter to travel in our district,”LeBlanc said.
The Amite River Road, where the accident took place, takes emergency responders out of Ascension Parish, through Livingston Parish then back to Ascension, he explained.
“For the past 15 years, we have dispatched Livingston Parish to our primary coverage area before actually dispatching our own department, simply because their fire department was closer than ours,” he said. “Our goal has always been to get fire and medical treatment to those Ascension residents as fast as possible, no matter what department or parish responded.”
In January, the department placed an emergency response vehicle near the Diversion Canal to respond to medical and fire calls in that area, he said. LeBlanc said the firefighters responded to the March 29 call within three minutes, performing CPR on the St. Amant resident.
An automated external defibrillator unit, known as an AED, was also used on the call, LeBlanc said.
The firemen recently received a plaque for their achievement and were named the department’s March firefighters of the month.
“This was a successful CPR/AED save, to the point that the St. Amant resident recovered fully and went home,” LeBlanc said. “Sometimes it’s those critical moments of care that is the difference between life and death. This kind of thing is the core of why we provide emergency medical care in Ascension Parish; to provide assistance in the first few minutes of any call.”
Stuntz and Blanchard live in the Diversion Canal area.
“Without their quick response and also living in this area, I strongly believe this St. Amant resident does not survive,” LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc said this was the sixth St. Amant resident to be saved through CPR and AED efforts in the last 10 years.