Adding Scottsbluff firefighter will ease overtime and scheduling

Dave Strang/RRN/KNEB

For several months the Scottsbluff Fire Department has been taking a very in-depth look at their department operations with staffing levels, shift schedules, firefighter duties and operating procedures being reviewed. Chief Dana Miller says the decision to hire another full time firefighter will actually balance out the department's three shift operation.

Miller says last fiscal year they spent around $49,000 in overtime to adjust for minimum staffing on the short staffed shift. He says the addition of this new staff member will balance all the shifts to the same number, eliminate the huge overtime expense, and relieve stress to staff members caused by covering the extra shifts.

In addition to fighting fires, some of the activities the department participates in are business inspections, fire prevention education activities, panhandle wide skills training, safety trainings with citizen groups, equipment maintenance, smoke and CO detector programs, child car seat safety program and special team trainings. Miller says having the additional member will allow them to enhance some of these current duties and add some additional duties. These include offering free home safety inspections, expanding safety options for citizens with special needs, educating citizens on programs like CodeRed and emergency preparedness, and staring citizen programs like Fire Corps, Exploring and school based safety training.

Miller says the Civil Service testing component was done months ago, with background checks just being finished. He says they already have a certified list of three candidates to choose from, and will make a recommendation to the City Manager within the next couple of weeks.

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