FIRE DISTRICT NO. 1 SWEARS IN TWO NEW MEMBERS← Back
Fire District No. 1 welcomed two new members to the ranks of their fire department today, announced Larry Hess, Chief of the Fire Department.
Firefighters Anthony Scharenbroch and Bradley Baughman joined the fire department that protects Wards 8 and 9 and the City of Slidell. The Fire District has approximately 108,000 residents, is 122 square miles in area, and responds to over 6800 requests for services in a year.
Hess said both Scharenbroch and Baughman are two of ten recently hired replacement personnel. The remaining eight new hires will have to complete our 16-week Rookie School to be sworn in and assigned to engine companies; however, these two new members were hired from other fire departments and already have the requisite basic training to be deployed to the field.
The hiring of these personnel will keep us at our approved manpower limit of 144 members. We have been at 144 members for the past 6 or 7 years, but we are experiencing a period of very high retirement activity Hess explained and we are having a difficult time in maintaining our minimum staffing levels.
Hess continued that he believes most of the experienced, senior chiefs will be retired within the next three years. We also have a large portion of captains who will also be ready to retire during that same three years. Succession planning is very high on our priority list right now because of this situation Hess said.
Hess pointed out that this long term hiring freeze adopted by the fire department has been one of the reasons the Fire District has only an averaged 2.0% growth in spending since 2006.
This is exemplary cost containment in a public or private business environment and we are very proud of our financial performance. We will continue to be prudent and conduct detailed due diligence when we consider any additional manpower concerns in the future Hess stated.
Because of their existing certifications and experience Scharenbroch and Baughman completed a modified “Rookie School” and have already begun serving the community and are anxiously awaiting their additional eight colleagues to complete basic training and join them.
Captain Van Joffrion
PIO / Fire Prevention Officer
Cell (985) 201-5566