Nicholls student firefighters conduct fire simulation on campus

The Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) held an unannounced fire simulation at Nicholls State University last Thursday evening. 

This was not just the usual simulation for TVFD, however, as all 15 TVFD members that responded to the drill are also members of the Nicholls Student Firefighter Association (SFA) — an organization that consists of firefighters that are currently enrolled at the university. 

“We were approached by Nicholls to have a simulation on campus, just to stress the emphasis of how important fire drills are and being prepared for fires and other emergencies on campus,” SFA President Jay Danos said. 

The drill occurred at the Brady Apartment Complex on Nicholls campus. A machine in one of the apartments simulated smoke. Nicholls personnel pulled the fire alarm and assisted in evacuating the residents.  

SFA members arrived in firetrucks, deployed a hose line and even set up ladders against the building. The goal was to make the scenario as real as possible, Danos said.

“They did excellent,” Danos said. “It was a very good opportunity for us to both train as a fire department and with Nicholls.” 

Student TVFD firefighters started the Nicholls Student Firefighter Association two years ago. 

“It was an idea that we had to start an organization, with the help of some of the fire department members,” Danos said. “It’s just an organization to first of all, serve our campus better, but also we use it as a recruiting tool for the fire department to kind of spread the word about we do.” 

The association currently has just over 30 members, ready to respond to emergencies at any given time — even if they are class. In addition to responding the calls, the members train with the TVFD multiple times a month. 

Danos said they are planning to initiate more simulations on the Nicholls campus in the future as well. 

“We’re trying to increase our presence on Nicholls campus,” he said. “This is something that we would like to keep doing because it is a benefit for both the fire department and Nicholls, ultimately to make the community safer.”