LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - City Council approved a three percent raise for Lake Charles firefighters.
According to the city, an entry-level firefighter’s starting salary will increase from a $30,634 to $31,566.
“It becomes a domino effect. Overtime prices are going high because we don’t have enough men. We can’t keep enough men because it’s not desirable to stay,” Delano said.
The Second Vice President for the local firefighter’s union, Lake Charles Firefighters Local 561, Travis Delano, said he’s hopeful this raise will be enough to help them keep and retain employees.
“A three percent raise for us individually would be a great help in trying to keep and retain employees," Delano said. "We’re having a big turnover rate, especially at the younger levels—even at the mid levels and high levels, leaving this job for the opportunity to make more money.”
Retaining and recruiting firefighters as been a concern for sometime. Just last year, Chief Keith Murray was optimistic about a two percent raise.
“What this is gonna stop, is...I was losing guys to Sulphur, Beaumont, some of the other larger departments that were paying better than us," Delano said. "This here will almost cement the fact that I shouldn’t be losing anyone to another fire department because we’re paying as good as anyone locally.”
Delano said while it’s not ideal, they’re on their way.
The three percent raise was approved in a unanimous vote of 7-0.