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Franklin giving pay raises to firefighters in effort to retain volunteers

Posted: 5:22 PM, Mar 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-08 22:35:40Z
Franklin Fire Department

FRANKLIN, Ohio — The Franklin fire chief said the city's fire/EMS division has become a training ground for bigger departments looking to hire full-time firefighters, so they're hoping pay raises will help them retain workers.

The city recently approved a new pay scale for the the Division of Fire and EMS that they're hoping will be more competitive. The division currently is made up of eight full-time employees and about 35 paid volunteers.

"This is a tough situation because the people that are doing this are doing this because they love what they do," Chief Jonathan Westendorf said. "But, in the same breath, they're also making a living out of it."

Westendorf said his department invests time and money training volunteers, but they soon move on to permanent jobs elsewhere.

"Good for them, that's what we want them to do," he said. "But at the same time, it puts us at a disadvantage.

That's why they're boosting pay for volunteer firefighters and EMS workers. Everyone will soon get a raise, and new workers will jump into a more competitive scale from day one.

"So that will give them a nice increase [in pay]," Westendorf said. "And then we have a more robust, more opportune step scale to attract individuals that are coming in to the organization."

The bump in pay kicks in on Monday.