Home » News » Public Safety
Town weighs options for firefighter staffing issues
Council Chairman John Farrell said the town currently spends about $17 million of the town's $28 million operating budget on public safety in general, which encompasses the fire, police and public works budgets.
Fire Chief Darren O'Brien said the fire department currently has four battalions and firefighters have been working a 42-hour workweek since 2008, when voters approved a contract that included a workweek reduction from 48 hours.
Farrell wondered whether hiring more firefighters would prove more cost-efficient in the long run.
Councilors said it would cost approximately $100,000 per firefighter to fund salary, benefits and training.
"My quick assessment is that looking at the parameters we're working in, the 42-hour work week schedule combined with each firefighter's accrued time and the 10-person per shift staffing requirement, that's what's been causing the overtime spike since 2009," Smith said, noting that over the past five years the town has spent about $2.5 million on fire overtime.
Farrell said he's been in touch with a state fire commissioner and was told that a 42-hour workweek wasn't advisable for the very reasons stated by the town manager.
Further discussions on fire staffing and budget options, followed by a final vote on the town warrant, will take place during the Jan. 20 Town Council firstname.lastname@example.org
READER COMMENTS: 0
- 2 officers, Weare face civil suit over 2012 burglary arrest - 25
- Extreme skier's handgun found, returned to him - 8
- Antrim fire damages cape - 0
- Merrimack students get a sobering lesson about drinking and driving - 0
- Two crashes reported on I-93 in Canterbury, Londonderry - 0
- Man killed in Seabrook fire identified - 0
- UPDATE: Search suspended for Northfield man a second day - 0
- Serious Concord crash injures Mass. woman - 0
- Concord police seek help locating homeless man - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Garry Rayno's State House Dome: It's time to make legislative sausage - 0
- Memory of bombings remains vivid for those who were there - 0
- Ted Siefer's City Hall: No power play in aldermanic chambers, mayor in good spirits - 1
- On Baseball: Locke pitches game in minor league rehab - 0
- NH's top prospects happy to be part of Boston - 0
- Relative newcomers vie for Boston title - 0
- NH College Notebook: Franklin Pierce's King named to 18U coaching staff - 0
- Andy Schachat's On the Run: New Hampshire makes a big deal about Boston Marathon - 0
- Another View - Ahad Fazelat: How Medicare reimbursement numbers are misleading - 0
Man electrocuted at Keene brush fire
Havenstein: 'I'm a pro-choice Republican'
A cellphone ban: Ignoring inconvenient data
Downhill: Obamacare vs. ski areas
Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: Restaurant owner faces up to challenge of Obamacare
'He is risen': 'As he said'