Lake Charles Fire Department hopes city pay raise retains firefighters

Lake Charles Fire Department hopes city pay raise retains firefighters

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - After the City of Lake Charles approved a 2 percent pay raise for its employees, which will go into effect in 2018, the Lake Charles Fire Department is particularly excited.

"We don't have extra people," said LCFD Chief Keith Murray. "When you're down 9 [firefighters], there's quite a bit of overtime."

According to Murray, the LCFD can function properly when down 9 firefighters, but he hopes the pay raise encourages his employees to stick around.

"This helps keep those guys around," said Murray. "It also helps bring new guys in that normally would've gotten a job with the industry [in reference to general industrial expansion in SWLA]."

Murray is also hoping the pay raise douses another problem that's plagued the fire department.

"What this is going to stop is losing guys to Sulphur, Beaumont, some of the larger departments who were paying a little bit better than us," said Murray. "I shouldn't be losing anyone to another fire department, because we're paying just as good as anyone locally."

In addition, during a new hire's first year on the job, firefighters and police officers will now benefit from a supplemental pay raise from $200 per month to $500.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.