Last Modified: Friday, October 12, 2012 10:29 PM
JENNINGS — Training paid off for two rookie police officers and a veteran firefighter who are credited with saving a woman’s life after a serious car accident.
Bryan Foti and Blake Bergeaux of the Jennings Police Department and Cody Courville of the Jennings Fire Department were lauded as heroes Thursday by their supervisors and the family of the late Pirmin Theunissen and his wife, Velda.
The couple were involved in a crash in August. Pirmin died as a result of the crash, but the efforts of quick-thinking police officers and firefighters helped save Velda’s life, Police Chief Todd D’Albor said.
“This is what we are all about,” he said. “We put our lives on the line to save the lives of others.”
D’Albor said it was important to recognize the three men for their efforts in saving the woman’s life so that she can continue to be with her family.
“This is what we strive for every day,” he said. “And it is important that we recognize their efforts in performing measures to save the woman’s life.”
Pirmin’s brother, former state Sen. Jerry Theunissen, and other family members were on hand to honor the officers and firefighter.
“They did everything they could to save them,” he said. “She was already blue from her waist up and hadn’t been breathing for sometime. But they immediately extricated her from the vehicle and did CPR and revived her. Because of that immediate act of professionalism, she is still alive and with her family today.
“You are heroes to us, and we appreciate the service of the first responders and what they do for the community.”
He also thanked the hospital and ambulance staff for a “great job.”
Foti, Bergeaux and Courville downplayed being called heroes.
“It’s not about the awards or the glory,” Bergeaux said. “We make a difference every day no matter how small it is. Not everything is major like this.”
They said good training and resources make a difference in what they do daily. “We had the resources we needed, and we didn’t have to wait,” Foti said.
Courville, who has been a firefighter and emergency responder for 26 years for the Fire Department, said continuing training helps emergency personnel handle accidents like the one involving the Theunissens.
The Fire Department trains every Thursday for fires and twice a month for rescue and emergency medical services, he said.
“Training is first, and natural instinct is second,” Bergeaux said. “I just did what I was trained to do. That training picked me up and guided me in the right direction and it paid off.”
Foti and Bergeaux have been with the Police Department for less than a year. Bergeaux served 10 years as a firefighter before becoming a police officer.