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Sep 16, 2010 7:17 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Sunset Fire Department Lacking Man Power

The small town of Sunset in Saint Landry Parish is dealing with a safety crisis--no one in-town to respond immediately during fires.

Resident Earl Courvelle said, "to me that's a very serious problem--when you don't have anyone to respond to a fire within your municipality."

Courvelle says he's concerned about the lack of firefighters in his city.

He said," I wouldn't even call the Fire Department because I know they wouldn't even be responding within the time."

The City of Sunset isn't lacking a Fire Department. The problem is its volunteer and all of the firefighters have other jobs.

Sunset Fire Chief, Kevin Smith, said "during the day response time is slower because like I said-- people are at work and people do have to work to pay bills."

Smith disputes the claim that his town is vulnerable saying they're protected day or night.

He explained, "I have agreements with neighboring departments, that during the day when they are around, they cover and handle calls."

Courvelle says he doesn't want to wait around for a fire department from a nearby city to come to his rescue.

Courvelle said, "I'm just looking for Sunset to come up to standard and give the people of Sunset what they deserve."

His concern has been heard by the Mayor of Sunset who is now looking at recruiting volunteer firefighters that work in sunset.

Smith said, "we do have several members of the Police Department that is on the Fire Department and he's also looking at putting the town workers on the fire department."

The mayor expects up to seven people from the Public Works Department and the Sunset Police Department to become volunteer firefighters.

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