Raleigh Fire Department Plans – Future Ladder Companies, Raises Sought Instead of Staff

The News & Observer today published a pair of pieces about the Raleigh Fire Department, their plans with regard to additional ladder companies, and staff expansion as the Fire Chief seeks raises instead.

Additional Ladder Trucks 

This story from Chris Cioffi[*] discusses the department’s plans for additional ladder trucks, as well as their station construction renovation plans.

[*] Link now broken, http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article142942864.html

Salient points include:

  • Three stations to be rebuilt (though only one demolished, not three as cited in the story): Station 6 at its current location, and Station 12 and Station 14 at new locations.
  • These will allow for future 15-person ladder companies, and the shifting of ladders from current locations.
  • In the past decade, at least 20 mid-rise structures similar to the Metropolitan apartments have been built.
  • Current ratio of engines to ladders is about three to one.
  • The number of companies has grown from seven to nine, since 2006.
  • A tenth ladder company will be requested in the FY19 budget that begins July 1, 2018.
  • Two additional ladders are expected beyond that, though no firm dates have been set.
  • The rebuilding of Station 6 on Fairview Road is scheduled to start in May. The project cost is $6.4M.
  • The rebuilding of Station 12 on Poole Road is underway. The project cost is about $5.3M, and should be completed next winter.
  • Upon completion of Station 12 on Poole Road and Bus Way, Ladder 8 will be moved from Station 8. This will improve ladder coverage in the southeast part of the city. 
  • The rebuilding of Station 14 on Harden Road is planned for the “more distant future.” Estimated project cost is not yet available.

Raises Instead of Additional Staff

And this story from Paul Specht[*] is about Fire Chief John McGrath’s plans for the coming budget yet. He won’t press for new staff for one year, because he wants his firefighters to be better paid.

[*] Link now broken, http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/raleigh-report-blog/article142923269.html

Some of those details:

  • City Manager Ruffin Hall on Tuesday proposed a new pay structure that could affect all of the city’s 4,000 employees. It calls for new minimum and maximum salaries for most positions.
  • No details yet, however, on how many employees, in the fire department or elsewhere, would receive raises.
  • The changes, if adopted, would cost the city an additional $11M in the FY18 budget, which begins July 1.
  • This proposal follows the wage adjustment that took effect on April 1.
  • Salaries were raised for 2,101 city positions, including more than 500 of the fire department’s 611 employees.
  • Firefighters received raises ranging from 6 to 13 percent for lower-level employees, and 2 to 4 percent for others.
  • Staff needed by the fire department, and forgone in the coming budget, are 60 new firefighters, three platoon EMS coordinators, three additional Battalion Chiefs, an inventory specialist, and a training captain. 
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