Full-time firefighters in Opelousas, LA make $9.50 per hour. Not surprisingly, the department is having trouble recruiting and retaining firefighters. According to firefighters, the city’s fire station even closes “every now and then” due to staffing shortages. Firefighters that normally work 24 hours on-duty followed by 48 hours off are working multiple continuous days and overtime shifts have become the norm.
Firefighters lobbied city officials this year for a $3.50 per hour pay increase. They believe that by boosting their pay to $13 per hour, the department will be able to better compete with the wages paid by neighboring departments. Unfortunately, city officials were only able to secure an additional $.90 per hour pay increase in this upcoming year’s budget. Not surprisingly, the firefighters have not given up. The firefighters are looking to raise attention to their low pay in an effort to garner more support from city officials.
Here is more on the story from KADN News 15.