Syracuse considers adding full-time deputy fire chief

Mar 22 2012 - 7:35pm

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SYRACUSE -- City officials hope to add a new full-time position to the fire department during the budget process for the coming fiscal year.

The city council recently voted to amend the city's wage scale by reclassifying the position of deputy fire chief as a full-time position.

The new position would be funded in the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, which begins July 1.

The shift would cost the city approximately $35,000 more a year in benefits once staff changes are sorted out, said Finance Director Stephen Marshall.

Fire Chief Eric Froerer has proposed making the new position a dual position in which the deputy would serve as fire marshal as well as take on an administrative role.

Froerer talked about promoting from within to fill the post, eliminating the position of lieutenant when promotions are made and filling the vacancy with an entry-level firefighter.

The fire department currently has nine full-time firefighters and 17 part-timers.

The added costs concern Councilman Brian Duncan.

"How quickly do we have to move on this? You want $35,000 more for the fire department. It has to come from somewhere," he said.

City Manager Robert Rice said city officials will look at how to fund the position as part of budget talks, which begin at the end of this month.

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