Gulfport advertises for part-time firefighters to fill gaps

Overtime is out and that leaves uncovered shifts

GULFPORT

The city is advertising for part-time firefighters so shifts in the department will be fully covered.

On Thursday, an employee schedule shows, the city lacked enough firefighters to staff one of three emergency medical service trucks. Also, just one firefighter was available for the only ladder truck in operation.

To efficiently operate a ladder truck in a fire, at least three firefighters are needed: one to drive, one to work the ladder and one to climb it.

The city is advertising on its Web site for part-time firefighters with at least two years’ experience.

An applicant also must have been employed within the last two years as a full-time firefighter, the job description says.

The part-time job will pay $10.60 an hour, comparable to the hourly rate of a beginning firefighter.

The hours used will depend on sick, vacation and leave time taken by full-time firefighters.

The city is hoping applicants will already have gear.

Gulfport needs part-timers because overtime for full-time firefighters was eliminated to save money. The hourly rate for a beginning firefighter receiving overtime pay would be $15.90, according to the city. Previously, the city spent about $500,000 a year on overtime.

Full-time firefighters worked 216 hours a month. Under federal regulations, they must be paid overtime after working 204 hours in a month.

Firefighters also have said they are down about 15 positions because of a citywide hiring freeze.

  PDF: Gulfport job posting

By ANITA LEE – calee@sunherald.com
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