New rules at fire department sparked confusion, causing some to quit
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison says the rules were misinterpreted
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) After new rules were implemented at the Williamsburg Fire Department at the beginning of October, several workers say they were confused, some even saying they felt that the rules did not let them serve the community properly.
“It was all geared towards saving overtime in the police department, over time in the fire department, just a cost saving measure,” explained Roddy Harrison, the mayor of Williamsburg and the man behind the new change in rules. “Never was there ever any mention about not going out and helping on extrications or wrecks.”
Harrison says the interpretation of what the department could and could not do got out of hand.
“It was just saying no more coming in on days off to do a lift to see us or no more coming in. If you, if you’re sick day, if you claim a sick day, then don’t come in and do life assist, if you’re on a vacation day don’t come in, unless there is a major emergency. And so at the end of the at the end of the paper, I think we just put a only structure fires. Well, I guess maybe that’s where it got out of the got out of hand, people thought, well, we can’t go do anything,” he adds.
He says the purpose was to curb overtime, since a lot of the budget was being taken up by overtime when firefighters were heading out to lift assists.
“Our policy, which looks at if, if you’re, if you’re called out, or if you go, you you automatically get two hours,” said Harrison.
“The man on duty goes to a lift assist when they’re called out, the man on duty goes to lift assists, he assesses the situation, if he needs help with we’ll call a police officer who’s on duty to come and assist. If there’s something major, then we assume that the ambulance EMS will be called out,” he also adds.
Some at the fire department have put their two weeks notice or have already left, saying the new rules aren’t what they signed up for.
“I hate that they felt like that because they know they I think they know me better than that,” said Harrison about those who have left the department or are in the process of doing so.
Now ABC 36 News did reach out to a few who left the department, we have yet to hear back.
Harrison stresses that the communities safety was never in question.
“Nothing was ever said, to put a citizen in jeopardy of losing the life over $1,” said Harrison.