The Assistance to Firefighters Grant is made possible through the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Program. The grant is available to college graduates who are active members of volunteer fire departments for a period of at least two years. "The money will go toward paying back student loans and other personal expenses from Thompson's college experience. The funds were awarded to him for being a college grad and volunteer firefighter," explained Slaughter Volunteer Fire Chief David Hughes, also a firefighter with Zachary Fire/Rescue and a Reserve police officer with the Zachary Police Department.
Thompson, who has served with the Slaughter VFD for over six years, recently graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.
"Captain Thompson is part of a family of volunteers whose tradition, it seems, is giving of their time and their talents by helping their communities," said Fire Chief Hughes.
Camron's father, Scott Thompson, is a member of the SVFD and a Reserve police officer with the ZPD. His brother, Jared Thompson, is also an active member of the SVFD.
The Slaughter Volunteer FD is proud of Camron and his great achievements, Hughes said. "We advocate higher education here," Hughes said.
The Slaughter department is also an area partner with Columbia Southern University in Alabama, and all active members of the department and their immediate family members are awarded discounts for attending school there.
"There are many benefits to becoming a volunteer firefighter," said Chief Hughes. "We're looking for talented people to serve their community, and there are various jobs here needing to be filled...we have firefighters, medical first responders, fire apparatus driver/operators, support personnel and community service personnel. There seems to be a misconception that you have to be a firefighter to serve with the volunteer fire department, and that's just not so."
The Slaughter Volunteer FD conducts training meetings every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Applications may be obtained from the SVFD, which is located at 3337 Church St. in Slaughter. You can also call (225) 654-5275 for more information.