Salary increase sought for deputy fire chief

By Sam Shriver -

LIMA — Lima City Council’s Human Resources Committee on Monday discussed possible changes to the salary of the Deputy Fire Chief’s position.

A letter sent to Lima council last month from the Civil Service Board indicated they could not take any action on a request to modify the pay range of that position because the position is not determined by a pay range. City Council sets the salary of the deputy fire chief and the fire chief and it is increased by collective bargaining between the International Association of Firefighters and the City of Lima.

In a letter sent to the Civil Service Board in January by Kari Keener, human resources director for the City of Lima, she indicated that Fire Chief Andy Heffner argued that “the position doesn’t seem equitable in comparison to other safety services positions of similar rank, such as the police majors.” The letter also expresses “concern that battalion chiefs make more in their subordinate positions because they earn overtime” and that makes “recruitment for the senior position somewhat difficult”.

In another letter sent by Lima Auditor Randy Bartels to the Civil Service Board, he points out the current base salary for the deputy fire chief is $86,275 and that rises to $87,999 for EMT-B certifications and up to $91,453 with EMT-P certification. The base salary for a police major is $102,909.

Keener recommends a more equitable solution for the two deputy fire chiefs.

“If we were to get them an 8%, equity, within 8% of the chief, then that would be the same as the police and then they would be the same. Right now there’s a 16% variance. So we could put that down to an 8% variance, it would be the same variance that the police have,” Keener said.

1st Ward Lima Councilor Todd Gordon moved to bring the deputy chief’s salary to within 8% of the Fire Chief’s salary.

City Council could consider the pay raise as early as a meeting later in the month.

By Sam Shriver

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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