At a recent town meeting, Falmouth (MA) Fire and Rescue Department had its proposed budget of $1.7 million for overtime and to fund the design of a new fire station approved, according to a report on CapeNews.net.
Article 9 asked for $900,000 to pay for overtime hours for firefighters to keep all the fire stations staffed, the report said. Since July 1, the department increased the start of shift staffing from 10 firefighters to 14 and required two firefighters at each of the town’s fire stations. Thus, due to a lack of manpower, all five stations could not be opened.
Retirements and resignations over the last year and a half have also contributed to a rise in overtime—and the pandemic has hindered the hiring of more personnel, according to the report.
During the meeting, the board also allocated $800,000 to hire a program manager and design architect for a new fire station to be built on Sandwich Road. The report noted that the funds aim to provide the town with a construction estimate that would go to Town Meeting in April 2022 and to voters in a debt exclusion on the May 2022 ballot.
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