BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) ––– The St. George Fire Department explains how an upcoming vote on Dec. 10 will impact the way they can serve the community. 

Voters will decide on a millage tax that could generate about $5.5 million for the department. Fire Chief Gerard Tarleton explains the new funds will allow them to hire around 40 more employees and the necessary equipment. 

It’s no small chunk of change, but Tarleton says, “It’s simply to keep our staffing at the level it needs to be or get it to the level it needs to be.”

He says their staffing needs have increased by 20% since the pandemic, and there is no sign of that need slowing down.

“To do more with the same amount of people is getting difficult,” he said.

Santa parades are also getting an update this year, to make it easier for them to reach every neighborhood. In addition to bringing joy to children throughout the communities, the parades also collect food and toys for St. Vincent De Paul.

The St. George Fire Department will have more information on the parades on its website and social media.