St. George Fire Department to hire more firefighters
BATON ROUGE - St. George Fire Department Chief Jerry Tarleton said his department is battling a different kind of fire right now: a worrying shortage of recruits.
Tarleton said right now the department is down 23 firefighters, which is impacting their ability to bring all their equipment to bear in an emergency.
"Many days we only have two people on the truck instead of three or four," Tarleton told News 2. "There are some days where we have taken a truck out of service because of staffing issues."
It also puts St. George Fire in a bind for their plans to improve coverage in the district. The chief said he wants to hire enough firefighters to expand into a ninth station and reach a better fire rating, which would lower home insurance rates in their area.
Tarleton said the department will hire a dozen new firefighters to begin with. The new hires will first have to pass civil service tests before they can begin training, and that training won't begin until January 2016. The new fire station is scheduled to be built in the next two years, and Tarleton hopes to finish filling out his ranks by then.
You can find out more about becoming a St. George firefighter on their website.