The Presque Isle Town Board, during its first meeting of the new year on Jan. 2, took action to raise the amount paid to firefighters who respond to calls to $50 per firefighter per call.
The amount is the same as what the town’s emergency service personnel receive for each time they transport a patient to the hospital.
The amount for fire department personnel had been $25 a fire call.
“The department said $40 was enough,” town chairman Marshall Reckard said Monday. “The ambulance service had been $25 and they increased it to $50. The other two supervisors (Cathy Logan Weber and Karl Wolter) felt, and I agreed, what’s the difference? Let’s make them all $50 so that’s what we did.”
He said it was first stipend — or pay — increase for the town’s fire department or EMS personnel since 2009.
“So, there was no increase for the people in 10 years,” Reckard said. “I talked to the fire chief and the assistant chief about it.”
He said the feeling was there needed to be something done to keep current personnel as well as “bring new people in” for the fire department and EMS crews.
“Especially for the training and going on calls,” Reckard said. “The other thing I told them to take a look at, and they did, if a person is out over three hours, they get double. In other words, you go out on a fire call for three hours, you’re gonna get $100. It’s really to help get people to join.”
Last month, the town approved a change in its EMS policy that established a stipend for the person on an ambulance call who is the one to fill out the run report.
The town board made provisions for the anticipated stipend changes during its 2020 budgeting process.
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected].