The three new firefighter are: Keith Cardwell, Rocky Davis, and Tyler Hogan. Cardwell had worked with the Ouachita Parish Fire Department, Davis with the Ruston Fire Department, and Hogan with the Choudrant Volunteer Fire Department.
With these hires, all the paid positions are filled – nine firefighters/drivers/captains, a district chief, a secretary, and the acting chief.
Temporary Chief Donny Watson said the department now has 82 volunteers on the roster.
Board Chair Richard Aillet noted that the department could always use more volunteers, and said that firefighting wasn’t the only job that volunteers can do.
Said Aillet, “We need volunteers not just to fight fires – which can be a fairly intimidating duty to do – we do need truck drivers, we need people that can handle the hoses for us, we need people that can tote the water.”
Watson said he often speaks to area groups in an effort to recruit volunteers.
New Simsboro commissioner Richard Durrett takes over for his son Ricky, and will finish out his term. Durrett was Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) Administrator when the fire district was created in 1991, and is familiar with the district’s issues.
The board also approved design of a maintenance facility for the district’s equipment. The building had been budgeted for, with the estimated cost in the $75-100 thousand range. It would be constructed at the Vienna location, and would be about 2 thousand square feet.