LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - 2017 is set to be a record year for the Lake Charles Fire Department.
"It's a sign of growth," said Chief Keith Murray of the Lake Charles Fire Department. "It's how you can tell things are going on."
Over the past few years, L.C.F.D. has recorded an annual increase in incidents requiring assistance - starting with 2,768 in 2012 and, today, breaking its 2016 record of over 3,600.
"I could see it in the amount of people and you can see it in the amount of runs," said Murray. "It's showing up in the paperwork very clearly."
Many of the calls fielded by L.C.F.D. were vehicle accidents rather than traditional fires, further highlighting the Lake Area's increase in traffic flow over the past few years.
"There's just a lot more cars on the road," Murray said.
Despite seeing hundreds of new calls, Murray said response times have remained stable.
"We're actually able to maintain about a 94-percent rate of getting to the scene within 320 seconds or less," said Murray.
However, Murray said he would like to see a firehouse at the intersection of Lake Street and Ham Reid Road in South Lake Charles. Ultimately, this would add an additional nine firefighters to the department.
Interestingly, one firefighter of about ten years 7News spoke with said he believes the workload hasn't increased.
"We come into work and we do our thing," said Brett Broussard of the L.C.F.D. "We don't really think about how many calls we get or how often we get called. We just do what we gotta do."
Although Murray remains confident L.C.F.D. will be able to continue managing an increasing demand, he is looking toward the future with some concern.
"I'm not having trouble right now," said Murray. "But I do anticipate that if we keep making runs and getting up higher, it's going to get harder to do."