Council denies fire department's ordinance request

DeRon Talley
Councilmen Kirk Boudreaux, Terance Irvin and Gary Lacombe discuss the agenda items at Monday's council meeting at City Hall. Photo by DeRon Talley.

The Gonzales City Fire Department and Fire Chief Tracey Norman requested the Gonzales City Council to put the Emergency Medical Services division in a separate ordinance, and was denied Monday night at the council meeting at City Hall.

Councilman Terance Irvin opened the panel up in discussion and asked the council to consider the current ordinance "recognizes the responsibilities of the fire department." He said the EMS services are already part of the current ordinance and said there is "no need to involve the council in the administration's business."

"I don't think it's necessary to put the EMS division into an ordinance when it's already under the administration of the fire chief so I request a motion to deny the request made by the fire department," Irvin said.

The current fire department's ordinance was instituted in June of 2001 and Norman told the council since then the "scope of the department has changed."

"We went to an advanced life support, higher training to provide the services," Norman said. "So that's why it couldn't be put under the fire department's section of the ordinance."

"We're talking about a service, we're putting a service into ordinance. It's been 12 years since we've last reviewed ours. Our scope of work has changed so we put that into ordinance."

Irvin insisted there is no need to make a separate ordinance for it and said once you begin doing it with the fire department it will start a trend for other departments to request the same of the council. He said the service the fire department is asking to be put into ordinance is already protected in the current one.

"We want to keep the council out of the administrations business, that's it," Irvin said. "You don't want to start that trend."

Councilman Kenneth Matassa asked Irvin and the council if the services were already protected why was it approved by the ordinance review committee.

"So if we want to support our fireman and EMS then why not put it on that ordinance," Matassa said. "Why not, to protect the entirety of it and make sure it stays around."

"I still say we need to put this under an ordinance to protect the integrity of the fire department and EMS," Matassa said.

The vote failed in a 3-2 count with Irvin, Gary Lacombe and Timothy Vessel, Sr. supplying the Nays.