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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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South Lafourche fire department gets new chief

South Lafourche fire department gets new chief

Since joining Lafourche Parish Fire District #3 in 1999 as a volunteer, Kully Griffin has worked his way up to volunteer fire chief, training officer and assistant fire chief.

Now, he’s leading the department, having been appointed fire chief at a board meeting Monday.

The former chief, Freddy Guidry Jr., died June 30 at age 70. Griffin was named interim chief in July but had to go through the civil service process.

Griffin said he joined the fire department after another member kept telling him about it. Guidry, then assistant chief, took him under his wing and they formed a strong working relationship.

“Ninety percent of what I learned came from him,” Griffin said. “He was my mentor even before I knew what a mentor was. He helped me tremendously. Without him, there’s no way I would have even considered or been ready to take this job.”

Fire District 3 has a little over 50 employees and a little under 50 volunteers, Griffin said. It has 13 stations from Larose to Fourchon, three of which are staffed 24/7.

Griffin said the department’s growth over the years has been a source of pride, though he credits Guidry with much of it.

“There’s a lot of small things that add up,” he added. “Watching a new fireman ‘get it’ for the first time, where you can see in his eyes that he understands what it means to be a firefighter. Helping somebody along with their career.”

Training Officer Jordan Collins said he believes Griffin will take the department in the right direction.

“The agency as a whole is pretty family-oriented,” he said. “We like to have fun, and we like to get our jobs done. It’s a relaxed environment, and he likes to keep it that way. He’s an open-door person. In the end, everything’s about making sure the employees are taken care of so we can take care of the community.”

Battalion Chief Devin Dedon said he joined the department when Griffin was a volunteer fire chief.

“Chief Griffin has always been 100 percent dedicated to the fire service,” he said. “He was the right guy for the job, and Chief Guidry would be very proud of him. I’m excited to see what the future brings for us. We’ve got a bunch of young guys that just came in, and I think he’s going to do a great job leading them.”


-- Staff Writer Bridget Mire can be reached at 448-7639 or Follow her on Twitter @bridget_mire.