Bridgeway residents spend time at the Picayune Fire Department

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 7, 2019

Residents of the Bridgeway Apartments enjoyed an afternoon of education and fun during a visit with members of the Picayune Fire Department.

The apartments, operated by Saint Frances Community Services, provide a supervised and shared living environment for those diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Bryan Cassagne with Bridgeway, who accompanied the residents on their outing, said the visit allows the residents to have some fun and helps them learn the important lesson of building relationships with other people.

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He said the fire department has become a special part of the residents’ lives.

“They come out and play ball with them, helping them field and pitch and hit,” Cassagne said. “It’s really special to watch. These guys are real heroes. The residents look up to them.”

During the visit, the residents were given a lesson on what to do should an alarm sound and how to react in an emergency.

Residents were also given a close up look at the equipment and trucks used by the department.

The firefighters supplied a little fun as they offered a fire hose for the residents to spray water at a distant cone, with one fireman becoming a good-natured target at times.

Capt. Joshua Abercrombie said the department enjoys helping out in the community because it is why they are there.

“We try to seek out the elderly, those with special needs, and children in order to stress to them fire prevention and fire safety,” he said. “They also learn not to be afraid of us or what we do.”

Abercrombie said it is important for people to better understand what the firefighters do so if the call comes, “they will know what they can do to help us help them.”

“Just being able to help them, cheer them up and limit the damage is always a plus,” Abercrombie said.