The number one priority of the Mandeville Fire Department (St. Tammany Fire Protection District #4) is to protect the lives and property of our community. As the area encompassing Fire District 4 has experienced significant population growth in recent years, the Mandeville Fire Department has been called upon to provide emergency services with increased frequency. After extensive research and evaluation of all options, the Mandeville Fire Department has requested the renewal of two existing millages, as well as a new parcel fee to fund the building, equipping and staffing of two new stations in District #4. These additional stations are critical to helping us provide fast, reliable emergency services to our citizens, particularly in high-density areas where we currently struggle to meet the minimum emergency response time.
Our existing four fire stations provide all hazard response which includes fire, emergency medical services (EMS), hazardous materials, technical rescue, water rescue, and more. Since 2004, the population of District 4 has grown by approximately 15,000 citizens, and call volume has increased by approximately 70 percent. Our Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Service Divisions responded to 6,320 calls in 2017 alone. While the population has directly increased the risk to life and property, the resources to fund emergency response have not increased at the same rate, and there has not been a new station built in District #4 in 30 years.
Population density is the key factor when determining risk in an area. The higher the density, the higher the risk to life and property. An increase in population density means more traffic and higher call volume. An increase in traffic makes it difficult for emergency personnel to get to emergencies quickly, increasing the likelihood of loss of life and/or property. Increased call volume also puts a strain on Mandeville Fire’s highly-skilled personnel. At times resources must be reallocated from stations further away to meet emergency needs, which also impacts response time. It is important to note that all citizens of District 4 are at increased risk due to the current strain on resources. As personnel are increasingly pulled from other stations to meet demands, even areas within close proximity to existing fire stations may experience slower response times.
Risk to life and property is not something that we take lightly, and we will continue to do all that we can to protect our citizens. But we need your help. We ask the citizens of District #4 to vote in support of the millage renewals and parcel fee in November 6. It is critical that we take action now, as this problem will only grow as the Mandeville area continues to grow. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Chief Kenneth Moore
Mandeville Fire Department