From the Board of Selectmen—
Chief Tom Vanderbilt, along with his deputy chiefs, has been successful in recruiting and training several new volunteers in 2011. For the first time in several years, the Fire Department is properly staffed.
Chief Vanderbilt and the Board of Selectman have also worked together over the past year to review the fire department compensation levels and are jointly recommending several changes for the 2012 budget year. This review was long overdue and changes are necessary; not only for internal equity but also to recognize our firefighters as fairly compensated when compared to other departments in the region.
We have three certification levels in our fire department; these include firefighter, CDL/pumps and EMT certification. Currently we have two rates: $9.30 per hour for non-certified and $10.74 for any level of certification. These rates have not been adjusted for several years and are far below neighboring communities. In addition, one of the most obvious inequities in the current system is that someone with all three certifications earns only $1.44 per hour more than a non-certified person.
Our proposal for 2012 is to establish four compensation levels to coincide with our certification levels. In addition, we are attempting to approach parity between our pay rates and the rates of surrounding communities. Our new rates will be $10.74 for non-certified, $12.74 for level 1, $14.74 for two certifications, and $16.74 if an individual has achieved level 3 certification. This change will result in an increase in the fire department salary lines for 2012, not only because the rates have increased but because we have a full staff on board at this time.
We will continue to review our compensation levels to be sure they are in line with our neighboring communities and recognize the high-quality level of service we have come to expect and do receive in Dublin.