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Carthage fire district closes out year

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CARTHAGE — Commissioners tied up loose ends and planned for the future at the last meeting of the Carthage-Wilna Fire District for 2013.

The board approved a 3 percent pay increase for the full-time drivers and a 2 percent increase for the spare and part-time employees.

The board discussed possible changes to employee evaluations to rate not only their attendance but their attitude about working.

Head driver Brian J. Draper reported it had been six months since the fire district hired additional part-time drivers and the system seemed to be working out well.

“There has been no time-and-a-half overtime,” he said. “The guys enjoy working the weekends and covered my time off” for medical reasons.

Treasurer Linda R. Prashaw reported there is an increase in insurance through Fuller Insurance Agency because of the establishment of the Nighthawk Drill Team and Fire Auxiliary. There will be a $50 charge for crime bonding for each organization and $298 liability on the newly acquired “B” truck.

Commissioner Ernest L. Prievo questioned whether the increase in workers’ compensation was a result of the increased number of employees. Ms. Prashaw said no, that the rate increases each year and is based on the total wages from the previous year.

Chairman Jon W. Storms noted the rate had increased almost $1 from last year.

Fire Chief Sean P. McHale said total calls for the year were 189, down considerably from last year. He said the department sent a relief crew to Clayton to help with the ice storm.

“It’s good rapport,” the chief said. “They would do it for us.”

Training is continuing for the firefighters, Mr. McHale reported, with volunteers training at Dry Hill for interior firefighting and attending bail-out training. The department is exploring ways to safely conduct the bail-out training at the fire station. The chief said the extrication drill had been canceled because of inclement weather and would be rescheduled as soon as possible.

In other business, the commissioners set an organizational meeting for at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at the fire station, 685 S. James St.

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