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State promotes three firefighters following massive retirements

The state— which has called for nearly halving the Atlantic City Fire Department —promoted three officers to deputy chief this week, and is considering promoting four others to battalion chief.
The move comes just days after 13 of the city’s most-veteran firefighters retired, many in hopes of saving jobs.
Interviews have also been conducted to possibly move four firefighters into open battalion chief positions.
“We had been running short for a very long time,” Chief Scott Evans said.
The department has had no deputy chiefs in more than two years, with one acting deputy chief who was paid out-of-title.
Those out-of-title rates “make up a substantial amount of overtime,” state Department of Community Affairs spokeswoman Lisa Ryan told BreakingAC.
She added that since the promotions are “within our new, leaner salary structure … (they) also save the city money,”
With the city now at about 204 firefighters, the new plan puts more firefighters on a shift because there are fewer shifts, Ryan explained.
The city previously had a four-platoon schedule, which allowed about 50 firefighters per shift. Now, with a new three-platoon format, there will be 66 firefighters working at any given time.
Fire union President Bill Dilorenzo said he has no comment on the issue at this time.
The fire union is currently in litigation with the state over changes to the contract that call for a decrease in pay and benefits. The state also called for laying off about 100 firefighters, but Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez has stayed those cuts until the case goes through the courts.
Ryan said the state is committed to not laying off anyone until Sept. 21, when the federal grant that currently pays the salaries of about 79 firefighters runs out. The state is now in talks with the union about how many firefighters are needed to provide proper service.
Ryan said the promoted officers will be able to handle issues like worker’s compensation claims, getting more training for firefighters and improving the city’s Insurance Service Office rating, which could lower homeowners’ insurance rates.

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One thought on “State promotes three firefighters following massive retirements

  1. So the state promotes 3 battalion chiefs to deputy chief and gives them each a $30,000 raise as he cuts the battalion chiefs pay to a flat $125,000. Sounds logical !! My Ass !!

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