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Southwest Louisiana Operations Center, 721 Enterprise Blvd, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Governor John Bel Edwards and many state and local leaders were on hand as Acadian Ambulance Service held a grand opening and dedication ceremony for its new Southwest Louisiana Operations Center in Lake Charles on March 16.

Located in the former Dimmick Supply building on Enterprise Boulevard, the center represents a $1.9 million renovation investment by Acadian. “We are excited to work with Mayor Nic Hunter to bring this investment, activity and growth to an underserved part of Lake Charles. We hope this project will spur more investing and rejuvenation of the area,” said Acadian Chairman and CEO Richard Zuschlag.

Governor Edwards addresses local government and civic leaders during the grand opening

In his remarks, Governor Edwards discussed the state’s ongoing battle against COVID-19 and mentioned that the first reported death from COVID in Louisiana was March 14, 2020. A year later, the death toll in Louisiana is now more than 10,000. The governor praised the work of the state’s first responders and healthcare workers. “No part of Louisiana, no part of our country has been tested like our healthcare workers and that includes our EMTs. That includes our paramedics and so I want to thank all of them. But particularly since we are here today with Acadian, I what to thank you for the heroic work you’ve been doing for over a year now,” Edwards said.

The governor was joined by State Senator Ronnie Johns, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Brian Abshire and Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, along with many other local officials, healthcare and civic leaders to formally dedicate the facility.

“This is a huge win for Lake Charles,” said Mayor Hunter. “We first discussed the idea of investing in this part of Lake Charles two years ago and it’s wonderful to celebrate this investment in our community today. Acadian’s facility will serve as a catalyst for further development and investment along this corridor,” he added.

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Brian Abshire commended Acadian Ambulance for providing exceptional emergency medical care to the area’s citizens and praised the company’s commitment to the region that the new facility represents.

Acadian Ambulance President Justin Back

The 18,000 square-foot facility will serve as the administrative and fleet center for Acadian’s Southwest Louisiana operations. It also includes an ambulance crew station, offices for Acadian Total Security and classrooms for the Lake Charles campus of Acadian’s National EMS Academy.

“There is a nationwide shortage of medics and we have many well-paying EMT jobs right here in Southwest Louisiana. We hope to attract more people into our EMT program with our online learning model and new skills training classrooms in Lake Charles. After just four months, graduates can become EMTs and earn an average of $35,000 or more per year,” said Acadian Ambulance President Justin Back.

Acadian’s Southwest Louisiana footprint, which serves Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, Acadia, Beauregard and Allen Parishes, includes 246 employee-owners with an annual payroll of approximately $12.2 million.