The Madison Mayor and City Council unanimously approved a pay-scale increase to $20 per call for the city’s volunteer firefighters at last Monday’s regular meeting. The raise will go into effect at the beginning on the next fiscal year on July 1, 2018.
“Since 2008, the rate has been $15 per call and per drill,” said City Manager David Nunn, who stressed the rate has not increased in a decade. “The budgetary impact is not that great. It’s a very small price to pay for the dedication and the work that these guys do to protect life and property. They train very vigorously and we try to equip them very well, but they give up their time for very little compensation.”
“I think it’s a pay scale increase that is very well-deserved,” added Mayor Fred Perriman. “I think Madison has a great volunteer firefighter department here…we appreciate all they do for our community and for our city.”
Nunn stressed the amount of work, sacrifice and risk on the part of volunteer firefighters to keep the city safe.
“These guys go out in the middle of the night, they go out on the rough ones, some calls are not as bad, some are alarm calls but they get paid all the same for their time and inconvenience, whether the calls take four, five, or six hours, even when they are out standing all day and all night, it’s $20 bucks. It’s a pretty good deal for the city. I want to publicly state how much I appreciate what they do.”
“We are very generous as a city to our employees. I think giving them a Cost of Living increase relatively automatically every year. But that didn’t apply to these volunteer firefighters,” said Councilman Eric Joyce To the council’s credit, when we brought it up at a work session, we realized $15 per call is kind of minimal and that hadn’t been increased in a decade seemed like a fair thing to do for these employees who provide such an important role for all of us.”
The council voted unanimously to give the volunteer firefighters a pay raise.