During the American Legion Department of Louisiana Convention held in Alexandria June 2-5, Retired Fire Chief Bobby Vasseur (center) from the Jennings Fire Department was named the American Legion Firefighter of the Year for the state of Louisiana. Shown presenting the award is American Legion Department Commander Richard Bell (left) and National Security Commission Chairman Johnny Square (right).
Bobby was associated with the Jennings Fire Department for 40 years, which included his years as a junior fireman, volunteer firefighter and as an outstanding career firefighter. He was the fire chief, and as such he supervised all the full-time firefighters and volunteer firefighters of the department. He supervised all the operations during a fire. Bobby was also an arson investigator, fundraiser coordinator and pyro technician, assisting with city fireworks displays. Bobby was trained to deal with problems associated with hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. He was also trained as an emergency first responder. Bobby learned to be a SCUBA diver on his own, and he often participated in diving operations to retrieve vehicles, evidence from crimes, and bodies. He has supervised divers and diving operations.
Bobby worked diligently and was the driving force behind keeping the fire rating of the city of Jennings at the high level it enjoys today. The fruits of his labor benefitted the entire community. Bobby was named the Firefighter of the Year for his department nine times, and has received six merit awards for work during emergencies such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Laura and Delta.
On Nov. 6, 2016, Bobby retired from the Jennings Fire Department as assistant fire chief after 32 years as an active firefighter. He returned to work as interim fire chief of the department on Dec. 10, 2018. He applied for, and was selected as, permanent fire chief. He retired as fire chief in February 2022. Bobby was nominated for the Firefighter of the Year Award by the city of Jennings and American Legion Post 19 in Jennings.