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Ohio City Hires FF’s, Saves $$’s

THE CITY OF NEWARK, OHIO, HAS FOUND OUT THAT MORE IS BETTER.  The city’s Fire Chief Jack Stickradt ran the numbers, checked it twice, and convinced the city manager that they would save big bucks if they hired more firefighters.  The savings come with the large reduction in the overtime budget that will result with the larger workforce.

The Newark Advocate explains:

The overtime budget, which had been teetering close to $1 million in past years, is expected to be less than $500,000 for the first time in years. Mayor Bob Diebold said projections are for overtime in 2010 to be about $174,000.  In Newark, union contracts require 19 firefighters to be working at all times. But in years past, there were too few firefighters for each of them to work normal shifts and still have 19 in the firehouses all day.

Stickradt said he long has told administrations that if more firefighters were hired, overtime costs would go down. This year, (Mayor Bob) Diebold accommodated him by hiring nine new positions. The move brought the total number of firefighters from 79 at the beginning of 2009 to 88 today.

According to payroll records provided by the fire department, the result is that when the department only had 79 people to fill the required slots in January and February, overtime averaged around $30,505 each pay period.  But since the department reached 88 individuals in late September, overtime expenses have dropped to around $8,020 each pay period, a savings of almost $22,500 every two weeks.

Chief Stickradt goes on to say that prior to the new hires, 90 to 95 percent of all overtime costs were to maintain minimum manning.  Now just about all of the overtime is utilized in non-minimum usages such as training or other necessary activities outside of the scheduled shift assignments.

The overtime savings not only offset the cost of the increased salary load, but by reducing the ingrained fatigue that comes with excessive overtime assignments, injury costs, etc., are reduced.

You can read the full story where Chief Rickstadt explains the numbers and savings HERE.
Newark Division of Fire & EMS  WEBSITE.

Firegeezer notes:  Newark is the home of the corporate headquarters of the Longaberger Co., a manufacturer and distributor of handcrafted American maple wood baskets.  The stucco-over steel office building is designed to look like their biggest-selling item, the “Medium Market Basket” and is a prominent tourist destination to see the architectural oddity.

longaberger

Comments - Add Yours

  • http://www.firedaily.com Fire Daily

    I've always wondered why a municipality would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for OT rather than higher more people. It never made sense to me. This chief did the math, AND the powers-that-be listened. A win-win.

  • http://www.firedaily.com Fire Daily

    I've always wondered why a municipality would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for OT rather than higher more people. It never made sense to me. This chief did the math, AND the powers-that-be listened. A win-win.

  • DaGonz

    I think I paid for part of that building… wifey has a lot of Longaberger baskets and has given them as gifts.

    A couple of years ago, at the budget hearings, the chairman of the City Council's finance committee praised the Chief for keeping OT costs down. The Chief replied ” I didn't do it.. you allowed me to fill positions, therefore decreasing the need for OT”…

    Fast forward to the budget hearings for FY 2010,,,

    The bean counters on the City Council stated that there was too much money in the OT account and cut it by $80K. We also have firefighter retiring this month, and they cut the salary account to reflect his retirement.

    We have had a number of firefighters on extended sick leave and Injury leave, couple that with contractual time off for vacations and such, the OT account is becoming depleted. We also have 4 firefighters that can retire tomorrow if they choose .. thereby compounding the need for OT.

    If the Finance Committee rejects the idea putting additional funds into the OT account and the Council votes for their recommendation we will have to brown out a station as staffing dictates.

    By the way.. the City has over $12 million in the coffers between the free cash and he stabilization accounts.

    Sometimes I think we are in the fire service version of Bill Murray's “Groundhog Day”.

  • DaGonz

    I think I paid for part of that building… wifey has a lot of Longaberger baskets and has given them as gifts.

    A couple of years ago, at the budget hearings, the chairman of the City Council's finance committee praised the Chief for keeping OT costs down. The Chief replied ” I didn't do it.. you allowed me to fill positions, therefore decreasing the need for OT”…

    Fast forward to the budget hearings for FY 2010,,,

    The bean counters on the City Council stated that there was too much money in the OT account and cut it by $80K. We also have firefighter retiring this month, and they cut the salary account to reflect his retirement.

    We have had a number of firefighters on extended sick leave and Injury leave, couple that with contractual time off for vacations and such, the OT account is becoming depleted. We also have 4 firefighters that can retire tomorrow if they choose .. thereby compounding the need for OT.

    If the Finance Committee rejects the idea putting additional funds into the OT account and the Council votes for their recommendation we will have to brown out a station as staffing dictates.

    By the way.. the City has over $12 million in the coffers between the free cash and he stabilization accounts.

    Sometimes I think we are in the fire service version of Bill Murray's “Groundhog Day”.

  • DaGonz

    I think I paid for part of that building… wifey has a lot of Longaberger baskets and has given them as gifts.

    A couple of years ago, at the budget hearings, the chairman of the City Council's finance committee praised the Chief for keeping OT costs down. The Chief replied ” I didn't do it.. you allowed me to fill positions, therefore decreasing the need for OT”…

    Fast forward to the budget hearings for FY 2010,,,

    The bean counters on the City Council stated that there was too much money in the OT account and cut it by $80K. We also have firefighter retiring this month, and they cut the salary account to reflect his retirement.

    We have had a number of firefighters on extended sick leave and Injury leave, couple that with contractual time off for vacations and such, the OT account is becoming depleted. We also have 4 firefighters that can retire tomorrow if they choose .. thereby compounding the need for OT.

    If the Finance Committee rejects the idea putting additional funds into the OT account and the Council votes for their recommendation we will have to brown out a station as staffing dictates.

    By the way.. the City has over $12 million in the coffers between the free cash and he stabilization accounts.

    Sometimes I think we are in the fire service version of Bill Murray's “Groundhog Day”.

  • DaGonz

    I think I paid for part of that building… wifey has a lot of Longaberger baskets and has given them as gifts.

    A couple of years ago, at the budget hearings, the chairman of the City Council's finance committee praised the Chief for keeping OT costs down. The Chief replied ” I didn't do it.. you allowed me to fill positions, therefore decreasing the need for OT”…

    Fast forward to the budget hearings for FY 2010,,,

    The bean counters on the City Council stated that there was too much money in the OT account and cut it by $80K. We also have firefighter retiring this month, and they cut the salary account to reflect his retirement.

    We have had a number of firefighters on extended sick leave and Injury leave, couple that with contractual time off for vacations and such, the OT account is becoming depleted. We also have 4 firefighters that can retire tomorrow if they choose .. thereby compounding the need for OT.

    If the Finance Committee rejects the idea putting additional funds into the OT account and the Council votes for their recommendation we will have to brown out a station as staffing dictates.

    By the way.. the City has over $12 million in the coffers between the free cash and he stabilization accounts.

    Sometimes I think we are in the fire service version of Bill Murray's “Groundhog Day”.