Petition Against Unfair and Unreasonable Staffing

Petition Against Unfair and Unreasonable Staffing

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Professional Firefighter started this petition to Professional Firefighters Of The City Of Augusta


Petition Against Unfair and Unreasonable Staffing

 

We, the professional firefighters of the city of Augusta, have given our absolute best effort towards providing the citizens of our community with professional and efficient emergency services with the resources provided as we are sworn to do. We have worked on holidays, weekends, and birthdays. We have held over for an additional 24 hours in order to maintain minimal staffing levels. For some time, we have been battling issues of low morale, unfair and unequal treatment among employees, and inadequate staffing. Among the worst of these issues has been the manner in which the department has handled the new EMS personnel. The purpose of this letter is to make our concerns clearly known.


We feel that the policies surrounding the new ambulances and new EMS staff have been implemented in a way that takes advantage of suppression personnel. Multiple suppression personnel have been performing the job duties detailed in the job description of EMS personnel. Meanwhile, EMS Sergeants and EMS Lieutenants-those who applied for a full-time position on the ambulance and signed a job description requiring them to do so--have been performing fire suppression duties, and more importantly, have not been required to perform their assigned ambulance duties full time. *please see the attached job descriptions* We are aware that EMS personnel have been assigned to the suppression apparatus in an effort to keep these employees in the Georgia Firefighters State Pension. The issue with this practice is simply that it negates the need for an “EMS Sergeant/Lieutenant” position altogether. If these EMS personnel are not required to serve their time on the ambulance, the burden falls once again on suppression personnel. This practice was officially set into action in the informational Bulletin IB#026.2020 posted on March 3, 2020. All employees of the Augusta Fire Department were allowed to apply for the EMS position; however, it was clear to the majority of suppression personnel, and confirmed in a letter from the Georgia Firefighters’ State Pension, that those working for a department in a non-suppression role would no longer be eligible members of the pension. Suppression personnel, specifically FFIIs and EMTP Sergeants, are being paid less than their EMS counterparts to perform the same tasks. EMS personnel are receiving Lieutenant pay to “ride down” as drivers on a suppression apparatus 50% of the time. The increase in pay and rank for EMS personnel was clearly meant to be an incentive for doing the job few wanted to do: ride the ambulance. Instead, EMS personnel have been awarded rank and salary increases but are not required to relieve the burden from suppression personnel by performing their assigned EMS duties full time.

Once again, we see this practice as highly unfair and as a step backward from any kind of solution to our staffing and morale issues. Suppression personnel are strained to the point of exhaustion due to mandatory overtime, an issue that continues to worsen in the wake of personnel leaving the department. The number one issue we hear from fellow firefighters is that of ambulance staffing. This issue must be addressed if we are to control the bleeding and stop this department from hemorrhaging good firefighters.

Respectfully petitioned by the following:

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