Rothschild may expand Fire/EMT's departments hours, benefits - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rothschild may expand Fire/EMT's departments hours, benefits

by Bryon Graff

ROTHSCHILD (WAOW) - The Village of Rothschild will decide whether to add more people, and pay retirement to some, in its Fire/E-M-T department.  

That's the recommendation made by the joint committees of Finance and Public Safety.  

Rothschild Fire/EMT Department Chief Steve Fritz has to juggle the numbers. His department is down from a normal roster of 36 to 29. And none of those members can top 600 hours in a year.. because that's when retirement pay kicks in. And Rothschild doesn't budget for it. But may do so in the near future.

Steve Fritz: "This is no one's fulltime job. We have people who take vacations in the summertime and not only from their regular job, the fire department also."

The Finance and Public Safety Committees recommend the village vote on paying retirement for three workers.. with a cap at five. That'll cost about $1,233 a year per person.

Daniel Mortensen/Village Board Trustee: "And once you're in the retirement system, you're in."

The village board will also consider pushing the department's roster to 40.

Fritz: "I think it is what we're looking for. We stated our case and our current situation and they seem to understand it."

Fritz says this would give his department more flexibility in scheduling. In the past they've lost some responders to other nearby departments because of that 600 hour threshold. This way they'll be able to keep some of their most loyal workers.

Fritz: "They're going to take action on it. That's about all I can ask for."

The Rothschild board will vote during its meeting April 26th.

Online Reporter: Bryon Graff

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