Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Seasonal EMT added

 


Due in part to a lack of ambulance crew volunteers, the Haines Volunteer Fire Department is hiring a seasonal, part-time EMT.

The $12,182 position would support a new employee who would work no more than 15 hours a week for six months each year, at a rate of $20.70 per hour. The borough assembly approved the position with the coming year’s budget.

Haines fire chief Greg Palmieri said the position is intended to provide more service to Haines during the busier summer months. “Emergencies don’t happen scheduled (from) eight to five,” he said. “We needed to have more flexibility.”

Al Badgley, a longtime fire department employee who retired last year, said the department is having an increasingly difficult time attracting volunteers.

“(They’re) having a harder and harder time getting people to get on one of our transports,” Badgley said, noting that the Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits paid firefighters from volunteering to fight fires on their time off.

The addition of the new position was finalized during the spring budget discussions, while Brad Ryan was the interim manager. “We had the opportunity to do it,” Palmieri said. “(Brad Ryan) was more willing to work with me.”

Though happy about the new position, Palmieri said he lobbied the borough for more. “I would rather have the opportunity to have the part-time employee work more hours a week,” he said.

About 65 percent of the cost of the new position will be borne by the borough’s medical service area. The remainder will be paid through fire service area property taxes in Fire District #1, said Jila Stuart, chief fiscal officer for the borough.

Since Kyle Fossman’s resignation in May, the department has been seeking a full-time firefighter to replace him, as well.

 
 

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