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Old BBQ pit at Iberia Medical Center restored by local companies

Iberia Medical BBQ pit.jpg
Iberia Medical pit.jpg
Posted at 8:25 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 21:25:04-05

An old and well loved BBQ pit at Iberia Medical Center is back home after a major restoration project.

Richard Howell II, CRNA returned to his hometown hospital Iberia Medical Center for employment. He says that everything seemed mostly the same, expect for the BBQ pit he remembered on the property. He says it had seen better days.

That pit, Howell recalls, has been a fixture of the hospital for around 30 years.

Howell and Chuck Dawson, Director of Surgical Services, set out to make the pit usable last year in hopes of cooking for the Operating Room staff as reward for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. On social media, Howell searched for someone who could make a few small on-site repairs. That request would lead to a full restoration of this long lived and long loved hospital icon.

Alex Crochet with Cajun Pumps and Supplies, LLC answered that call.

“I don’t think this pit has ever moved from its current location and based on its size, it’s not hard to imagine why," Crochet said.

After removing the pit in October, Howell says the true damage to the pit was evident. Much of the bottom for the pit was eaten away, reminding Crochet of Swiss Cheese, Howell said. To fix this problem, Howell says American Tank Company stepped up and fabricated a new bottom for the pit out of one solid sheet of steel. American tank also punch fabricated some new side tables and charcoal grates for the pit.

"Working on the pit in their spare time, the guys at Cajun Pump and Supply, LLC, as well as American Tank Company turned this old rusted BBQ pit into a fully restored and functioning piece of art," Howell said.

The restored BBQ pit was returned to Iberia Medical Center hospital on Monday January 25, 2021, in its prior location, where it sits adjacent to the Bayou Teche just west of the hospital pavilion.

“This is truly an awesome experience, in times of economic turmoil it’s amazing to see folks give up their time for a good cause," Howell said. “It’s truly why I was excited to return home to work at IMC and care for my home community; it’s just good people.”

The BBQ pit is expected to be used soon.
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