Lafayette Fire Department welcomes 17 new firefighters

Photo by KADN staff

Able to hire 17 from federal grant worth $1.7 million

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 2:02pm

"It gives me greater piece of mind to know that my property is protected better, and that if something should happen that their going to be their immediately with the extra firefighters," says Dwaine Thomas, a resident of Acadiana.

Because of a $1.7 million federal grant the Lafayette Fire Department was able to welcome 17 new firefighters into the department this morning.  This fire safer grant is paying for one hundred percent of these new 17 employees for the next two years.  This brings the department's staffing to a whopping 273 first responders in our community.

"Which is going to help us not only in the rating, but also help us in the safety issue as well," says fire chief Robert Benoit, Lafayette Fire Department.

This particular graduation is important to the Lafayette Fire Department.

"This is a rating year for us.  Lafayette's been growing for the last couple of years, and the fire department hasn't been growing as fast with the city," says Chief Benoit.

Because the city is growing, the department has to go to another district which requires more people.  So these 17 new firefighters are helping even out the distribution of first responders throughout the Acadiana area.

"Hopefully when we get graded at the end of this year these 17 will make a difference in helping us at least maintain that class two fire rating that we've been enjoying for the past ten years," says Chief Benoit.

Chief Benoit recognizes Congressman Boustany as he was very instrumental in the department receiving this grant.

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