Running into a burning building is an extremely dangerous job and a task not everyone can handle. But, The Lafayette Fire Department has managed to recruit 30 new people who are already training at the academy.
Fire investigator, Alton Trahan, says it’s a six month process and not easy to find those fit for the task.
“You have to learn the academics first and then get out in the field and actually get your hands on experience,” said Trahan. “So, we actually teach them things we use to extinguish fires.”
New money means new hires. The department was awarded $1.7 million from FEMA through a program called SAFER, which means Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency Response. More manpower means more trucks and services.
“When you’re short certain fire trucks at certain stations, the extra manpower helps and is very essential for the safety of these guys,” said Trahan.
The training is intense and physically demanding. But more hands on deck and more fire stations in the works, it means a safer environment for the public and crew.
“Firefighters can maybe last 15-20 minutes it depends, especially in heat like this,” said Trahan. “So, the problem is, you need to have someone on stand-by because the fire is not going to stop.”
The new hires will help staff the new fire station off Curran Lane. It’s currently under construction and scheduled to be complete by June 2015.