The Biloxi Fire Department is trying to moving forward with a plan to bring better fire protection to the area the city annexed two years ago. On Tuesday, Biloxi Fire Chief David Roberts asked the city council to consider hiring 18 new firefighters, most of which would be working in the Woolmarket area. Right now there is only one fire station in Woolmarket, and department officials say that just isn't enough.
"It's the growth in the area," said Roberts. "This area is going to be growing constantly and it's the only place that's really growing in Biloxi right now, so there is where we want to prepare for.
Roberts says his staff is already preparing. Twelve of the firemen he asked the city council to work into next year's budget will man a new station to be built in Eagle Point. In the next few years, the city plans to add two more stations in the annexed area. Chief Roberts says the improvements won't stop there.
Former firefighter and Woolmarket representative David Fayard says he supports improving fire protection in his ward, but he'd like to see the city address other public safety concerns.
Ward seven council member David Fayard said "I'd like to see more patrolmen out patrolling the neighborhoods area too. Not necessarily to write tickets, but to get out and do some community patrolling."
Chief Roberts says if the council approves the budget, the firefighters won't be hired until several months before the new station in Eagle Point is scheduled to open.