Fire District No. 7 goes full-time
When flames rise, there’s someone in Plain Dealing ready to answer your call.
For the first time, Bossier Parish Fire District 7 has full-time firefighters manning their firehouse, located on West Palmetto Avenue at Highway 2. Fire Chief Marvin Aldrich said having a full-time force is a huge step for their 116-square-mile district.
“We have someone on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Aldrich said. “I’ve been trying to get our guys to full-time for a while and we finally did it.”
Fire District 7 officially began in January 2004, but the firefighters were all strictly volunteers. They eventually moved up to a few part-time positions before adding full-time firefighters on March 1, 2013.
Joining Aldrich full-time on the District 7 force is Logan Moseley, Jacob Fredieu and Austin Harell. Moseley said their presence is going to serve a bigger purpose to the Plain Dealing area.
“You can’t ever go wrong with full-time coverage,” Moseley said. “We can be out the door in less than two minutes and on our way to a call. That time we save is priceless when it comes to saving lives.”
Moseley, who has been with District 7 for almost nine months, said he didn’t see his work as a firefighter ever becoming his main career. Then, the news came in early January that changed everything.
“Now we are able to make a career out of it, which makes it much better,” Moseley said. “It has definitely moved fast these last two months.”
District 7 has one person at the firehouse at all times. Their schedule is 24 hours on, 24 hours off for five days with a five day off period.
Though the majority of their district is farmlands and trees, Aldrich said there’s enough work to keep them busy. District 7 assists with calls to the Plain Dealing Fire Department and EMS calls.
Fire District 7 also has 25 volunteers assisting on calls, but Aldrich said they are always looking for more.
“We need volunteers,” Aldrich stressed.
Volunteer firefighter Aaron Barnes said he joined District 7 six months ago because he understands the need to help residents in small communities.
“We’re all here to help each other, full-time or not,” Barnes said. “The camaraderie is great and we’re getting to know the community we serve.”
Barnes said the volunteers are just as important to District 7 as the full-time force.
“They can’t do it on their own and that’s what we’re here for,” Barnes said. “When that radio goes off it doesn’t matter if we’re paid or not. We are going to show up and help.”
Moseley said teamwork is crucial to fighting fires and saving lives or property.
“There’s no way we can do this job alone,” Moseley said. “Without the volunteers, our job is much more difficult.”
Aldrich said the appreciation for their volunteers is indescribable.
“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, but they have the heart,” Aldrich said. “Volunteers are unpaid not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”
He also said the change to full-time positions at Bossier Parish Fire District 7 wouldn’t have been possible without the residents of their district.
“It takes a community to build a fire department,” Aldrich said. “We are trying to improve our service to the taxpayers in our district. They are who we work for.”