Bourne Selectmen Concerned with Fire Department Overtime

Bourne FireBOURNE – Selectmen in Bourne are concerned that the fire department’s overtime budget is projected to exceed the amount that was allotted for the current fiscal year.

Fire Chief Norman Sylvester spoke before selectmen earlier this month and said multiple causes have led to the increased overtime including increased.

The department’s overtime could exceed its budgeted amount by almost $50,000.

Firefighters have responded to 247 more calls from July of 2015 through April than the same period the year before.

Sylvester also said short staff issues have compounded the increased number of calls.

“I’m not making up time or just giving it to them – ‘oh you’re a nice guy here’s an extra $500,’” he said. “They actually have to do the work.”

Sylvester said the situation is unique in that they have had to respond to the increased call load with even less staff.

The department has had three openings throughout the year which have not been filled due to a lack of qualified candidates, according to Sylvester. The department does expect the positions to be filled by July 1.

The department has also had a staff member out for a long-term injury which may require the worker to retire.

Sylvester said the department has also had to cover training and six workers who had been out at different times for parental leave.

Selectman Jerry Ellis said the department has seven individuals who are making between $10,000 and $17,000 in overtime wages and 29 employees who are making $6,000 in overtime per year.

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