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North Logan firefighters deserve a raise, chief says

April 8th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Emily Pannell Johnson

NORTH LOGAN—Fire Chief Jon Keller told the City Council that his hope for the coming year is to give his 36 firefighters a raise to $8 per hour. Although each firefighter receives an additional 25 cents per hour for every certification they have, their base pay is only $7.25 per hour, he said. One firefighter who has been with the department for 15 years only makes $10.25 per hour.

“Just to be clear, they don’t get paid when they’re at the firehouse waiting for calls; they only get paid if their pager goes off,” Keller said. “And they respond all the time. They respond on their birthdays, they respond on their anniversaries.”

During his budget presentation, Keller said the department averages 1.5 calls per day, with 3,374 response hours last year. In 2010, Keller said the department was able to earn the city some money by responding to federal calls. During the recession in 2009, Keller said they saved North Logan $46,000 by cutting spending.

Keller said he’s asking the city for an additional $9,800 this year; $2,600 will go to pay raises for the firefighters, $1,800 will go to computer equipment, and the remainder will go to call volume.

Keller went on to say he was frustrated to be at another year’s budget meeting with the city no closer to building new accommodations for the police department, which is occupying space that used to belong to the fire department.

“They moved in temporarily 14 years ago, which was fine because we didn’t need the space then,” Keller said, “but now, with the call volume, we need that space so our guys can sleep in house.”

If firefighters were able to sleep at the firehouse, Keller said, it would improve response time by at least 4 minutes.

In other business, the council:

– Heard budget presentations from Community Development and the Protective Inspection & Engineering Department.

– Held a public hearing on an ordinance setting standards for establishing recreational vehicle parks in the city.

– Approved a development plan for the subdivision of the library land.

– Approved a request by Staker Parsons to work on reconstruction at 2500 North, west of Main Street, at night during the last week of April, the first two weeks of May, and again in July and August.

– Authorized the extension of the 1/64th percent sales tax dedicated to the Bridgerland Ice Arena Committee for the Eccles Ice Center.


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