Commission Votes To Move Forward On Consolidating Fire Departments

March 21, 2008

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The Escambia County Commission voted Thursday night to finalize steps toward creating a unified, countywide volunteer fire department and to solve the issue to stipend overpayments to volunteers.

Under the plan approved Thursday night, the county will waive $24,575 in volunteer stipend overpayments. As a restriction on the stipend forgiveness, volunteers that hold an exemption letter from the State Fire Marshal will be able to continue collecting their stipend at the level of Firefighter I until September 30. Beginning October 1, volunteer firefighters holding the exemption letter will be paid their stipend at the level of Firefighter Trainee.

The plan also requires County Fire Chief Ken Perkins and Robbie Whitfield, president of the volunteer’s association and chief of the Ferry Pass Volunteer Fire Department, to present a fire department unification plan by the April 2008 Committee of the Whole workshop on April 10. The county administrator would oversee this transition.


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