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Jun 4, 2014 7:02 PM by Ashlea Bullington

Fire Department Hires More Fighters Due to FEMA Grant


The Lafayette Fire Department is hiring new recruits.

"Lafayette is growing, and we're trying to grow with it," said Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit.

Thanks to the FEMA grant called SAFER -- Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response -- the department will provide the first two years of pay and benefits for 20 new fire department employees. The Federal Government has also offered to pay a third year of salaries and benefits to newly hired veterans or retired firemen.

Fire Chief Benoit also told KATC that without this grant, the fire department would not be able to keep its Class Two ranking. It has allowed the department to grow along with the growth of the community.

Along with the 20 firemen being hired with the grant, 11 more will be added to stations across the area. The extra personnel is needed with the construction of 2 new fire stations.

The process of hiring is a long one. There are many testing phases, written and physical, as well as several interviews. Even after the applicants accept a position with the department, there are still several steps before a new hire officially becomes a firefighter. That process includes a 6 month training program before graduating and being assigned to a station.



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