Lafayette Fire Department’s 98th recruit academy began last week with the largest class in the history of the department. Thirty individuals were hired prior to the start of this academy in large with the assistance of a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant of $1.7 million, called SAFER- Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response. In 2013, Lafayette received the grant which allowed the department to hired 20 new firefighters. The other 10 were hired to fill vacancies within the department.
Fire Chief Robert Benoit is very excited with the additional firefighters and the impact they will have on public safety. As long as the city continues to grow, the needs of the fire department increase as well. The new hires will help staff the newest fire station under construction on Curran Lane near South Domingue Avenue. The fire station is anticipated to open June 2015.
The new recruits will endure six months of training that will encompass academic and practical learning of the profession. The 98th recruit academy will graduate at the end of February 2015.