Bossier fire chief wants to hire 10 firefighters for 5th ambulance

Bossier City Fire Department wants 5th ambulance and crew

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Bossier City's fire chief hopes City Council members agree to hire extra staff in next year's budget.

Chief Brad Zagone wants to add 10 employees to the department work force, which numbers 196.

Bossier City has four front-line ambulances staffed 24/7 and five reserves.

On Tuesday, Zagone will ask the council to authorize the hiring of 10 more firefighters to staff a fifth front-line ambulance.

"We've been in planning stage for a while, and we just want to make sure the revenue would support what we want to do."

The City Council will convene at 3 p.m.

When a call goes out in Bossier City, a fire truck is there in 2.5-3 minutes and is followed by the first available ambulance.

Bossier City also has a mutual aid agreement with Shreveport to help each other when one city runs out of ambulances.

With Bossier's growing population plus visitors on the weekends, the fire chief says it's time for more staffing.

"Just looking at the population, looking at where we are, plus the visitors with the shopping and things you have in Bossier, we are north of 100,000 people on the weekends in Bossier City."

Bossier City Fire Department takes about 12,000 calls a year. Transports are up by 175 people this year compared to the same time last year.

"Here lately, we've just been running out more often," Zagone said. "The ambulance behind me, we staff with administrative staff Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Two of us jump on this when we run out of ambulances between normal business hours and make the calls on this' and that's dropped the mutual aid calls down by using that," he explained.

"But we feel it's time just to ask for and add another ambulance to keep up with the growing population and the demands our citizens and guests of Bossier are used to."

If approved, Zagone said, the move would mean better response times for ambulances next year in Bossier City.

The fifth ambulance likely would be housed at Fire Station 3 off Airline Drive, where there is a large volume of calls.

The department would use one of its reserve ambulances.

And funding for the manpower would come from the EMS and Enterprise funds, which support themselves.

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