Since 1980 the Coteau Volunteer Fire Department and the Coteau Fire Protection District, (Coteau Fire Department) provides Fire – Rescue – EMS Services to the Coteau Community with Professional Firefighters and Emergency Medical Responders (2 paid, 10 part time, and over 30 volunteer Firefighters).
The Coteau Community currently enjoys a Property Insurance Associations of Louisiana’s Class 3 Rating, a determining factor on what the community pays for fire insurance.
Here is how it all began:
In November of 1979, after helplessly watching a neighbor’s house burn to the ground, due to the long distance that the Bayou Blue Volunteer Fire Department and Bayou Cane Volunteer Fire Departments had to travel to fight the fire, members of the Coteau Community joined together to discuss the future of fire protection for the Coteau Community.
South Louisiana Electric Co-Operative Association was gracious enough provided a meeting room for these concerned citizens to discuss the future of fire protection for the Coteau Community.
In March of 1980, four short months later, with the assistance of Mr. Douglas Boudreaux, a seasoned firefighter and a member of several parish fire departments, the Coteau Volunteer Fire Department was formed.
After countless hours of searching for a suitable location to build a fire station, by residents of the community, namely Mr. Rodney Bollinger, Mr. Wayne Guidry, Mr. Rickie Pitre, and Mr. Jimmy Rogers, the Ellender Family, agreed lease a portion of land, which was being used for a parish playground, for the fire station.
These courageous men and women, both young and old, took on the ominous task of finding funding, not only, for the construction of the station, but trucks, equipment, and for operating the department. A loan from the Terrebonne Parish Police Jury provided the funding for the construction of the fire station.
The newly formed Coteau Volunteer Fire Department now had a location and funding to build a fire station. Funding for trucks, equipment and operations were obtained, with the help of Bayou Cane, Schriever and Village East Volunteer Fire Departments, by allowing us to become a part of Terrebonne Parish Fire District 1 2 3.
As luck would have it, the Terrebonne Jaycees, whom were located near the newly found station site, provided a place for the department to discuss the daunting task of finding a fire truck and equipment.
After many of hours of searching, Bayou Dularge agreed to sell us a surplus 1954 American LaFrance ‘Dallas Special’ fire truck, including hose and air packs, for $1000.00. Bayou Cane further helped us by providing surplus pagers, gear and, more importantly, training.
Dedicated men and women spent many long days, sleepless nights and countless weekends building offices inside the newly constructed station. In October of 1980, under the leadership of Fire Chief Wayne Guidry (1980 – 1984), with a ‘piecemealed’ fire truck, borrowed gear and the willingness to help their community, the Coteau Volunteer Fire Department began responding to fire calls, and fundraisers that included weekly nights working Bingo games.
It didn’t take long to realize an additional fire truck was needed. Thanks to Vigilant Chemical and Hose of Thibodaux, LA and a second loan of $ 10,000 from the Terrebonne Parish Police Jury, a 1959 International Fire Truck was purchased in 1981.
In 1984, a 1968 Chevrolet Pickup Truck was donated by the Schriever Volunteer Fire Department and was used for transporting additional equipment to emergency calls.
Under the leadership of Fire Chief Robert Lee (1985 – 1993), a new 1984 E-One Fire Truck was purchased, replacing the 30-year-old American LaFrance. Due to the age and increasing cost to maintain the trucks, the 1968 Chevrolet Pick-up was replaced with a used 1984 GMC Pick-up truck purchased from a local oilfield service company in 1986.
It became increasingly obvious to Chief Russell Di Salvo, Jr. (1993 – present), in order to efficiently provide fire protection to the community, the replacement of the 34-year-old American LaFrance was needed.
In 1994, a new E-One Engine was purchased. Even with new equipment, the cost to operate the fire department continued to increase. In 1996, Terrebonne Fire District 1 2 3 was dissolved, causing the individual fire departments to become separate Fire Protection Districts, thus the beginning of Coteau Fire Protection District.
1996 also brought another major change to the operations of the department. The Department (Coteau Community) found itself, again helplessly waiting, at the scene of an automobile accident, for a ‘Rescue Team’ from neighboring departments to respond to extricate two people from the wrecked vehicle. It was then, the decision to expand what services we provide to the community. Vehicle Rescue Training and First Responder (Medical) Training was added to our training program. The addition of Hydraulic Extrication Tools and other ‘Rescue-type’ equipment we added to the arsenal to provide the expanded services to our community. In 1998, a new E-One Rescue truck was purchased to replace the aging 1986 Chevrolet Pick-up truck.
In 2005, a new E-One Engine was purchased to replace the 21-year-old E-One Engine to keep up with the increased call volume and the growth of our community. At that time, discussions began regarding the need for a firefighter on duty during the work week. a second station, and an additional engine
Thanks to the voters, this need was also recognized. 2007, a daytime firefighter, a second station (1930 Coteau Road) and an E-One 50’ Teleboom Engine was added to the fire protection capabilities of the department.
In 2011, in an effort to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the community, Chief Di Salvo was hired to handle the day to day operations and became the first paid Fire Chief of the District/Department.
In 2014, additional firefighters were hired to increase the daytime staffing of fire stations to respond to emergency calls during the work week.
In 2017, the aging 1998 Rescue Unit was replaced with an E-One Rescue Unit.
Again, recognizing the need to keep up with the growth of the community, the Coteau Fire Prevention Bureau was created to work in conjunction with the Louisiana State Fire Marsal’s Office and the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government’s Permit Office.
Sidney J. Adams *
Douglas Boudreaux *
Robert L Boudreaux
Claude J. Boudreaux
Roland L. Boudreaux
Eda May Champangne
Allen J. Darcey
Ivy Deroche, Jr.
J.P. Eschete *
Michael J. Guidry
Willis J. Henry *
Nelson J. Kramer
Edward Leboeuf Jr
Ramon Maxey *
Emmett Prestenback *
William C. Roux *
Abert J. Solassi
D. A. Stretch *
Ivy J. Thibodeaux *
* Indicates Deceased