Iberia

Jun 14, 2013 11:47 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Fire Station Reopens in New Iberia

A fire station in Iberia Parish will re-open after being closed for the last two days. The city says this all boils down to a funding issue.

But residents, like Bernie Lemaire, have been concerned. He's lived along Weeks street, and across the street from the fire station for 25 years. He's upset that it's been closed since Wednesday.

"It's going to take a fire department from the other side of town to come out here. Now maybe they may not save the house, but what if they can't save the poor child that's stuck in the house," Bernie Lemaire said.

"Would you want the fire station next to your house that's protecting you and your child or you and your family closed? With no notification?" New Iberia Council member, Raymond Lewis said.

But fire chief Ronald Bourque says that no one has been in any harm because the city's four additional stations are enough for full coverage.

"Their safety is not at risk, that we have a... we have at least twelve people on duty. If there's a major fire we will hire off duty people," Fire Chief Ronald Bourque said.

It takes two people to fully staff the weeks fire station, but when they go on vacation or call in sick, there's little funding to hire replacements.

"By law I can't send a truck out without a captain and a driver, and I would have to hire a captain and pay overtime to do that. And our issues are, it's about money."

The chief adds the Weeks fire station is an extra station,and the other fire stations meet the city's needs. He also says that temporarily closing the Weeks fire station won't affect the fire rating, which is connected to insurance rates.

 

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