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Acadian Ambulance new operations center signifies resilience at a time when most needed

Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 9:49 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Acadian Ambulance’s new operations center is up and running in the former Dimmick supply building at 721 Enterprise Blvd just north of Broad Street.

It is a $1.9 million renovation by Acadian and brings investment, activity and growth to a historically underserved area of Lake Charles.

“I’m standing here in Lake Charles, area most devastated by storms last season, as proof of the resiliency of the people and our way of life,” said Acadian Chairman and CEO Richard Zuschlag.

Governor John Bel Edwards agrees and says the center also offers training for well-paying careers.

“Right here they’re going to be training people, educating them to be EMTs, and there is a nationwide shortage,” Gov. Edwards said. “This is a growth opportunity. There is tremendous demand.”

Acadian officials say after just four months, graduates can become EMTs and earn an average of $35,000 or more per year.

Gov. Edwards also talked about COVID, saying the state is making real progress but reminding people to be vigilant.

“Genetic sequencing has identified the variant of the virus, the UK variant, here in SWLA in Lake Charles more than it has anywhere else.”

Gov. Edwards says the UK variant is at least 50 percent more transmissible, and on average delivers a worse outcome than other variants. Edwards says 10,000 people have died of COVID since March 14 of last year when Louisiana had its first COVID death.

Though he says the pandemic is real and remains serious, Edwards says they are making progress. He says the state now has more people vaccinated than the number who have tested positive for COVID.

Effective now, the governor is fully vaccinated, and he is excited about what that means.

“My mother is also fully vaccinated. I can go visit with my mom for the first time in a year. We can take our masks off. We can hug. We can have a meal together,” Gov. Edwards said, providing more evidence of better times ahead for families and communities in Southwest Louisiana.

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