Trustees debate overtime in fire department

By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

Jackson Township officials are concerned about overtime.

Township Administrator Mike Lilly told trustees, at the Jan. 13 meeting, that if the amount of overtime already this year keeps up, it would surpass that of previous years.

Deputy Fire Chief Randy Little attributed much of the overtime in that department to injuries and illnesses. Human Resources Director Lynn Bruno also said the department has been operating with two openings for fire techs since last summer.

“We didn’t want to hire any because we weren’t sure what was going to happen with the levy,” Bruno said, referring to the fire levy voters approved in November.

Although staffing shortages could be eased by the end of the month, trustees are planning a meeting to discuss how to ease the situation long-term.

Two or possibly three fire technicians are expected to be hired at the next meeting, Jan. 27, as well as promotions to be made.

Fire techs are part-time employees, but accrue benefits. They work every sixth day. The minimum number of employees to staff the four stations is 24 full-time
firefighters/paramedics and four fire techs. Turnover is high among fire techs since they are part-time and often find full-time work at another department.

Firefighters respond to more than 200 fire calls and a similar number of EMS runs in a two-week period. According to figures presented at the meeting, the department answered 227 calls where fire apparatus was sent out, while 266 EMS calls were handled between Dec. 30 and Jan.13.

The firefighters’ scheduling is not the only pressing topic of employees that trustees will be addressing. Trustees will also be talking with road department leaders to help them ease their scheduling, especially in times of storms.

Construction Projects

Lilly outlined some of the road construction projects in the area to be carried out in 2015.

The county will be constructing a roundabout at Alkire and Demorest roads; replacing a bridge deck and culvert on Borror Road between Zuber and Hiner; repairing the dip in the bridge deck on Borror Road at Quail Creek; and replacing the culvert at the S-curve on Zuber Road west of Hoover Road.

In addition, the city of Grove City will construct a roundabout at Haughn and Orders road, and the Ohio Department of Transportation will upgrade the intersection at State Route 104 and State Route 665 to install a left-turn signal.

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