That's right. $11.17 an hour is what our Lake Charles Fire Department workers make when they start out as a firefighter. I am almost positive you can work fast food and make more than this. As a result, most of these men and women have to take second and third jobs to make ends meet. The pay increase from there is not very much as you begin to make your way through this career either. Not only that, the Lake Charles Fire Department is the lowest paid department in the area when compared to Cameron, Westlake, Sulphur, and surrounding areas.

attachment-IAFF Firefighters Local 561 3
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Recently the Lake Charles Fire Association Local 561 Union spoke at a City Council meeting to fully lay out the current issues with the LCFD and it is more than just the pay they are currently receiving. In a video posted by the Union, Union Rep Jared Chandler explained further issues with the department including things such as trucks with no AC, extremely low staffing that limits the number of trucks that can actually be in operation, and extremely outdated equipment.

Chandler lined out the issues that he and his fellow firefighters are facing daily including the fact that they just don't have enough staff to meet the needs of the city should a major issue happen.

These men and women, just like all of our civil servants, run TO the issue while the rest of us run away. Would you go running into a dangerous situation such as a fire for 11 bucks an hour?

As word began to spread about these issues, Local 561 has now taken to the streets to let the rest of the city know what is happening with the department. As they began to picket and spread the word, people from all over the city have begun to support our fire department more than ever before it seems. People and local business owners are showing their support by not only spreading the word but also providing them with food and drinks to stay hydrated during their picketing sessions across the city.

It's certainly hot outside for them to be getting their voice heard, but not as hot as a firetruck cab with full gear on. According to the union, those temperatures inside of the firetruck with no AC can reach up to 140 degrees or more. Imagine sitting in all of that gear, blood pumping, and you've gotta get out and get into an even hotter situation when you get there. Half of us would be worn out from just the ride in that heat! So, how can YOU help? Glad you asked!

IAFF Firefighters Local 561
IAFF Firefighters Local 561
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You can head over to the IAFF Firefighters LOCAL 561 Facebook page and share any and all of their posts. You can share this post to get the word out as well. That part is easy and quick. Next up, you can call your City Council Representative and let them know your concerns about the Lake Charles Fire Department. You can call or email the Lake Charles Mayor Hotline at 337-491-1346 or email mayorsactionline@cityoflc.us or mal@cityoflc.us.

Personally, I don't really get all political. However, I don't see this as a political post. This is a post about some brave men and women who still continue to do their jobs despite all of these things stacked up against them. This has been going on for quite some time and it seems no action has been taken. Now, they are speaking out and the city they help is getting behind them to help change happen!

 

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