Second to None
This month, Captain Pam San Fillippo introduces the company officers of the BSL Fire Department, the team members who make life or death decisions on a daily basis.
And if that’s not enough responsibility for one person to manage in a day’s time, consider that they are also responsible for carrying out most of the long and short-term goals set by the chief officers; they mentor, supervise and train the firefighters assigned to them, and they make sure that every fire truck and every piece of equipment is ready for service “24/7." Their 24-hour duty shift is filled with countless responsibilities, all vital to the safe and efficient operation of the department.
Sounds like a pretty tough job, doesn’t it? Well, it is. And here are the guys who make it happen, every day of the year.
Ronald Avery, Captain: Captain of “A” shift, Ronald is a veteran of the United States Air Force with a degree in criminal justice; he was hired as a firefighter recruit with the BSLFD nearly 20 years ago. Ronald has achieved numerous certifications during his career that include fire pump operations, high angle rescue, hazardous materials, incident command, command school, fire officer and fire safety instructor - to name just a few.
In addition to being an exceptional firefighter, Ronald is also one of our best public fire safety instructors. Combining his firefighting knowledge with the reputation of being one of the best disc jockey’s around, “DJ Avery” never fails to capture the attention of any audience.
Troy Buck, Captain: Originally from Indiana, Troy brings more than 25 years of firefighting experience to the BSLFD. He discovered Bay St. Louis when he traveled from Indiana to help out in the days following Hurricane Katrina - he immediately fell in love with the city and the people of Bay St. Louis, and moved here the following year.
A veteran of the United States Navy, Troy has also worked several tours as a firefighter in Afghanistan and Iraq. His numerous certifications include fire pump operations, weapons of mass destruction, incident command, investigator, instructor and inspector. As the captain of “B” shift, he especially enjoys preparing new hires for their basic training at the fire academy. Also a licensed plumber, Troy keeps busy on his days off from the fire department operating his own plumbing business, “Buck’s Plumbing."
Lorenzo “Zo” Armenta, Captain: Zo joined the BSLFD in 2007 after serving as a volunteer with the East Hancock Volunteer Fire Department. After earning his state firefighter certification, he has continued his training in various disciplines such as rope rescue, EMT, trench rescue, hazardous materials and pump operations. At 5’10”, 275 lbs. and “ink” from head to toe, Zo can strike a rather imposing figure. But underneath it all is a guy who has found his place in life as a firefighter - always ready, willing, and able to help anyone, anytime.
In addition to his firefighting skills, Zo is also fluent in Spanish and is often called on by law enforcement officers to act as an interpreter. On his days off from the fire department, Zo is busy managing his own lawn care business. Lorenzo and his wife, Ellyn, live in Bay St. Louis with their two children; Lorenzo also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps.