LaPlace Volunteer firemen seek more help
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 23, 2006
By KERI CHAMPION
LAPLACE-LaPlace Volunteer Fire Chief John Snyder is looking to increase the staff of the volunteer firefighter corps to 60 people.
Currently, the LaPlace volunteer firefighters have between 12 and 14 active members and 25 roster members. The fire department fields about 1,300 calls a year, for an average of a little over 100 calls per month or three calls a day.
“We are looking to staff firefighters at a gradual 15- 20% increase a month until we reach about 60 people. If we could have 50-60 active firefighters we would be in good shape to take care of the public,” Snyder said.
“We can handle the calls we have coming in for the most part with the people we have, but the majority of the need comes when we are called in for a major structure fire,” he said.
“A large fire requires back up teams and reinforcements when entering a burning building and the extra recruits would help out tremendously,” he said.
Snyder said fresh recruits would be the best way to better service the community. New recruits could be brought in without any additional cost to the community.
“I am confident that our present budget could support 60 firefighters,” he said.
Public information meetings are also part of the recruiting plan.
“We are actively recruiting firemen when doing demonstrations or participating in civic meetings or other public service activities. Fliers, banners, and signs are posted around the area to encourage people to join,” he said.
New recruits are trained at Station 54 behind Woodland and veteran recruits usually train at the main fire department branch on Hemlock Street. Training at both stations is held Monday nights at 7:00 p.m.