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BOCC approves fire union contract

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New hires must become paramedics within four years of hire date

Newly hired firefighter/emergency management technicians (EMT) Firefighters in Hernando County will be required to become paramedics within four years of their hire under the latest contract between the county and Hernando County Fire Rescue District in agreement with the Hernando County Professional Firefighters Local 3760.

The Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved the contract during its June 27 regular meeting.
According to Hernando County Fire Rescue Fire Chief and Public Safety Director Paul Hasenmeier MPA, EFO the requirement will double the department’s normal paramedic school enrollments this year.

“We have written a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters grant application to fund (the enrollment increase),” Hasenmeier said. The status of the grant is pending.

Also, under the contract, pay increases for 2022 are “status quo,” with across-the-board pay adjustments taking place Oct. 1, 2023, and Oct. 1, 2024, Hasenmeier said.

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According to the approved contract, the hourly rate for Firefighters and EMTs new to the department range from a minimum hourly rate of $16.80 or $45,427.20 per year to a maximum hourly top-out rate of $23.12 or $62,516.48 per year.

The rate for Captain Medics ranges from $27.74 per hour or $75,000.00 annually, topping out at $38.83 per hour or $105,000.00 annually, and the minimum hourly pay rate for a Battalion Chief is $31.43 or $85,000.00 annually topping out at $42.53 per hour or $115,000.00 annually.
Grandfathered positions under phase-out include an hourly rate for Firefighters EMT2 ranging from $17.64 or $47,698.56 annually to a top-out rate of $24.28 per hour or $65,653.12.

The pay scale for Lieutenants grandfathered positions under phase-out range from $24.04 per hour or $65,000.00 annually to a top-out rate of $35.13 per hour or $95,000.00 and rates for Captain/EMTs top out at $31.43 per hour or $84,986.72 annually.

The collective bargaining agreement is effective from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2025, Hasenmeier said.

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