The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

December 13, 2012

Conneaut city manager wants to rework wages for volunteer firefighters

CONNEAUT — Unhappy with the response to emergency calls, City Manager Tim Eggleston wants a new pay structure for the city’s on-call firefighters.

Eggleston, at Tuesday’s City Council public safety committee meeting, said he is seeking to give personnel at Fire Station 3 a stipend instead of hourly wages. Some of the 20 station members are earning money by showing up for training or doing maintenance work around the station instead of answering medical and fire calls, he said. Eggleston proposes a flat rate for members tied to certain requirements, which could include call response.

“We’re still having problems with call-outs,” he said.

Council was leery of the stipend plan, believing it could actually discourage those members who regularly answer calls.

On average, the city budgets around $50,000 a year for on-call firefighter payroll, Eggleston said. Under the stipend plan, half of that money would be earmarked for repairs and maintenance at Fire Station 3, the manager said.

Council members feared the stipend could backfire, squelching the morale of the station’s dedicated firefighters. The two at-large members, John Roach and Neil LaRusch, suggested the city consider a step system that pegs payment to the number of calls answered.

Officials have said Station 3 response began to dip after the city restructured the fire department nearly four years ago. An ambulance was moved to Fire Station 1, home to the city’s full-time firefighters, a move that allowed the city to tap into revenues once collected by Station 3. The action was resented by many Station 3 members.

Earlier this year, the administration began a series of monthly meetings to discuss the fire service and also assigned Assistant Fire Chief Steve Sanford to deal with on-call firefighter concerns. Results so far have been disappointing, Eggleston said Tuesday.

“The monthly talks have not gone as well as I would have hoped,” he said. “There has been some resistance.”

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years