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County Executive Laura Neuman to Hire 100 Additional Firefighters as a Result of Binding Arbitration Opinion

Publish Date: 06/05/2013
Firefighters will keep a four shift schedule
 
Annapolis, Maryland (June 5, 2013) — Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman today announced that she intends to hire 100 additional firefighters as a result of the final opinion concerning the Interest Arbitration between the firefighters’ Union Local 1563 and the County.  
 
“The Union made a strong case to keep their shift schedule intact, the Arbitrator agreed, and ultimately they prevailed,” said County Executive Neuman.  “In order to ensure the highest quality of safety to the public, firefighters and paramedics it is necessary to increase fire personnel to provide adequate staffing for all shifts.”
 
Firefighters currently work a schedule of 24 hours on duty followed by a required  72 hours off.  The Administration proposed eliminating the fourth shift which would have resulted in a schedule of 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hour off duty periods.  The current and upheld four shift schedule necessitates a considerable amount of overtime to meet staffing requirements.  
 
“Working excessive amounts of overtime and back-to-back 24 hour shifts presents a safety concern for firefighters, paramedics and the public,” said Acting Fire Chief Michael Cox.  “Ultimately, our number one goal is to protect the safety and welfare of our citizens and fire personnel.” 
 
The County Executive will introduce legislation to create 100 new firefighter positions.  She will also request a $3 million supplemental appropriation from the County Council to fund the new positions and training.  It is estimated that the Fire Department may need to add two additional fire academy training classes within the year. 
 


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