Louisiana firefighters gather to pay respects to fallen comrades
BATON ROUGE - Firefighters from around the state have gathered in Baton Rouge to show love for their fallen brothers.
They come, as they have year after year, to remember fellow firefighters who lost their lives while saving the lives of others last year.
Now, 116 names are displayed on the wall of honor dating back to the 1850's. And three new names were added Saturday.
Assistant Fire Chief Ernest "Peppy" Doughtery of the Baton Rouge and East Side Fire Departments is one of firefighters to join this list. He died in May of a work related illness.?
"He lived and breathed three things, the fire department, his family and God," said Janet Humee, Dougherty's sister.
Spencer Chauvin, the second firefighter to be added Saturday, was a District Fire Chief in St. James Parish. He died on I-10, while responding to a traffic accident.
"He was a one of a kind person. Definitely special, loved his job and he would do anything for anybody," said, Jennifer Chauvin, Spencer's widow.
But when a fire fighter passes away, there's one thing a family can count on, and that's a strong show of support from the fellow firefighters left behind.
"His fellow fire fighters, both Baton Rouge and East Side Fire Department, have been at my side everyday, and I know that I can call on anybody at anytime for any need that I have," said Lajuana Doughtery, Ernest's widow. "The brotherhood surrounds me and will always be there and I will love them like family."
Larry Plaisance, an operator at the David Crockett Steam Fire Co. in Gretna, was the last name to be added today.
The Annual Louisiana Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Ceremony remains impressive and dignified. But it's a service these firefighters and families would like to see held one year without a single new name being added to the wall.