Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Council approves raise for volunteers

Minden Fire Department continues to answer the call – 239 of them, to be exact, since December 2011.

In his yearly report to the Minden City Council Monday, Fire Chief Kip Mourad said that number includes residential, commercial, grass and automobile fires, as well as rescues, leaks, spills and false alarms.

"Total alarms answered for the year is 239," Mourad said. "That includes alarms inside the city limits and outside the city limits where our department was called as mutual aid for District 10, Dixie Inn and Dubberly."

Rescue calls inside the city limits totaled 16, while there were 15 outside the city limits.

"That's kind of unusual to have that many rescue calls in the city, but for some reason we did this year," said the chief.

The department also participated in 48 drills, which are counted in the total figure.

"In 2012, our department answered 133 alarms from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and 72 alarms from 8:01 p.m. until 7:59 p.m.," Mourad said.

But Minden firefighters are required to answer non-emergency calls, too.

"We went on a total of 129 non-emergency runs," Mourad said. "Examples include trash burning, gas spills, alarm malfunctions, natural gas smells and others."

In between answering emergency and non-emergency calls, in 2011, firefighters visited with and educated more than 1,400 students on fire prevention at local schools, churches and other public gatherings.

"Then, there are those (kids) that came to the fire station," he said. "Most of these occurred during October, as that is Fire Prevention Month."

Using grant funds from Conoco Phillips, Co., the Minden Fire Department launched a smoke detector program and handed out 65 units to local residents.

"We're proud of our smoke detector program," Mourad said. "We have more to hand out."

Call 371-4232 to receive one.

"Anyone who is elderly or handicapped, we will be glad to install it for them," he said.

Minden's fire department is made up primarily of volunteers, with 28 on the staff. There are 15 paid firefighters on the roster.

In 2011, total cost for volunteers was $48,564. In 2012, the cost was $49,896. Volunteers make eighteen dollars per call.

"We have an excellent fire department with a lot of good volunteers," said Minden mayor Bill Robertson, during Monday's city council meeting. "I recommend we pay them $19 this year. Kip and his whole department have done an excellent job."

With one abstention by District 10 councilman Benny Gray, who is a volunteer firefighter, the council voted unanimously to approve Mourad's fire report, as well as the dollar raise per fire call for volunteers.






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