Fire District Two approves pay raise for firefighters

By: CARISSA HEBERT

Managing Editor

The Evangeline Parish Fire District Two board approved to pay its portion of a two percent raise for paid firefighters in the City of Ville Platte at its meeting Tuesday evening, January 13.

District Two consists of areas near Ville Platte and the communities of Belaire Cove, Faubourg and Chataignier. When a fire call occurs, members of the Ville Platte Fire Department answer those calls as per an agreement. The city and the district have an agreement which includes the district giving monetary support to the firefighters.

The board discussed finances to purchase a new truck and a recent bid of $154,544, for the truck. The truck could cost up to $9,000 more if the department has to purchase a 2009 chassis for it if no 2008’s are left. They also discussed different avenues of financing the truck, whether through a bank or with a grant. They agreed to purchase the truck and gave Fire Chief Ted Demoruelle permission to begin the legal process.

In his financial report to the board, Danny McDaniel reported the district’s savings account was at $9,581; sinking fund at $9,791; general fund at $117,286; and payroll at $27,888. He said they were doing okay.

Demoruelle reported 401 calls for the year of 2008; 156 of those calls were in the district. This was 56 more calls than in 2007. His report indicated in 2008, the city had 89 structure fires, 25 grass fires, 24 medical calls, 56 alarm activations, two extrications, nine vehicle fires, three gas spills, 31 service calls, three search and rescue calls and three bomb threats for 245 calls. The district had 37 structure fires, 56 grass fires, seven medical calls, 11 alarm activations, 15 extrications, 21 vehicle fires, one gas spill, six service calls, one search and rescue and one bomb threat.

In December, the district had four structure fires, 10 grass fires, two alarm activations, two extrications, one vehicle fire and one service call for a total of 20 calls. The city had 12 structure calls, six grass fires, two medical calls, four alarm activations, one vehicle fire and eight service calls for a total of 33 calls.

Demoruelle also said the department had a new tower lease implemented and was running on a new repeater, which was purchased with grant money.

He said unit 408 needed new rear tires in Chataignier and he was replacing some burnt headlights and needed to order some more headlights for spares. He also said new regulations mandate firefighters wear reflective vests when handling traffic matters. The board gave the chief permission to make the necessary repairs and to inquire how much reflective vests will cost. He also was given permission to check all tires on the trucks and to change those that needed to be changed. The board did not want anyone to be hurt or killed while driving fire equipment to an emergency.

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