Dennis Fire Cutting Planned New Hires from Eight to Four

DENNIS –The Dennis Fire Department is looking to hire four new firefighter-paramedics instead of the eight that were originally planned.

Fire officials say that the change was due to the fact that the federal SAFER grant of $1.39 million that would have paid the new employees is only guaranteed for three years, making the town responsible for the rest of the years.

“That would get us two-thirds of the way through our staffing plan and then come back perhaps maybe in a couple years and revisit finishing off that staffing plan,” said Fire Chief Mark Dellner.

Instead, the department is submitting a revised request to FEMA for a reduced number.

“The finance committee felt that the eight additional municipal employees, with all the costs associated, whether it be health insurance or whatever, was really too big of a bite to take on in one fiscal year,” said Finance Committee Chair Jim Plath.

Selectmen gave unanimous support to fund the firefighters’ salaries from January to June 30, 2018 at a cost of $175,000.

It will now be an article for the October 17th Special Town Meeting warrant.

If the grant is approved by FEMA, it would drop the cost to $83,000.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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