An Assistant Fire Chief in New Iberia is reaching out to the city council for help. After 33 years on the job he's just a couple of months away from retirement and he says he's never received his gold badge and departmental insignia.
New Iberia Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Simon Jr. is about to retire in September. He's given 33 years of service. He says what he hasn't received – his gold badge and other insignia. So, Simon sent a letter to the council asking for help.
Councilman David Merrill got the letter and took it home. “I made it my job to call him first thing the next morning just to let him know I read it and see where he was as far as what he had done already.”
Merrill contacted the chief and the mayor to see what can be done. “I was told that they're looking into doing it where everyone knows about it at one of our council meetings before the time he retires.”
New Iberia councilwoman Peggy Gerac says Simon is the city's first African-American Assistant Fire Chief in the history of New Iberia. She sat down and had a talk with the Fire Chief.
Gerac says the chief said he was working on a plan of his own; something more grand than handing badges across a desk. “I'm sure we're going to do a ceremony or something. So he said Mrs. Gerac I'm planning it already. I don't want to just give it to him in his hand. I want to do it at a city council meeting with a ceremony so it can be memorable,” says Gerac.
“I don't know exactly when, but I know it will be brought to him and he'll know about it also,” explains Merrill.